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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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1 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Cultural and character backgrounds

2 The Author The author of the poem is known only as “The Pearl Poet.”
Written in northwestern England around 1370 The language and topics indicate that the author was most likely familiar with French, Latin, the aristocracy, and the medieval romance genre.

3 Medieval Romance Characteristics
embody the ideals of chivalry set in a remote time or place emphasize rank and social distinctions convey sense of supernatural hero engaged in pure adventure include love feature spontaneous fighting

4 Stages of a Medieval Romance
Undertaking a dangerous quest Facing a test of honor or courage A return to the point from which the quest began

5 Poetic Devices Heavy alliteration
Bob and wheel verse: each section ends with a short line called a bob, followed by the wheel, which are longer lines that rhyme.

6 Themes Tests of character The power of nature to revive or destroy man
Games to prove worthiness Male/female opposition

7 Characters Sir Gawain: A young knight ready for challenge
The Green Knight: A mysterious figure who proposes a quest Lord Bercilak: Allows Gawain to stay at his castle during his quest Lady Bercilak: Seduces Gawain King Arthur: Leader of Camelot

8 Sir Gawain Sir Gawain is a Knight of the Round Table in the legends of King Arthur. He is depicted as both a ruthless warrior and a noble and courageous man. As a knight, Sir Gawain would have had to uphold the code of chivalry.

9 Code for Knights Physical ideals for knights: - strength
Sir Gawain would have been expected to adhere to physical and nonphysical ideals. Physical ideals for knights: - strength - skill at arms - horsemanship Nonphysical ideals for knights: - courage - humility - courtesy - loyalty

10 Theories on the Meaning of the Color Green
fertility and rebirth love the devil or evil (from early English folklore) death All are seen in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which could suggest a focus on the cycle of life or the transitions from good to evil.

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