Sir gawain

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The fragment we have to deal with has been taken from Sir Gawain and the

Green Knight which is a Middle English alliterative romance. It was written in the late

14th century. Although theauthor of this work is anonymous, he has been called the

“Gawain Poet” Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is made up of 2,530 lines and 101

stanzas. It was preserved in a manuscript known as theCotton Nero A.x.

The poem deals with Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, who

accepts a challenge from a Green Knight; a character who is totally green. He must

hit the GreenKnight but, in return, he will receive the same blow in a year and a

day. Sir Gawain beheaded the Green Knight with the blow but he, instead of dying,

takes his head and reminds Sir Gawainthat, in year, he will receive the same blow.

The fragment corresponds to the prologue of the poem in which Troy, Brutus

and Arthur are mentioned. This has to do with the matter of Britain. Thiskind of poetry

tells us about the legendary history of Britain. In this sense, Brutus is mentioned as the

founder of Britain: “Ande when þis Bretayn watƺ bigged bi þis burn rych” (line 1).Brutus is Arthur’s antecessor. Arthur is mentioned as the “hendest” (line 7) among

Britain’s Kings. Moreover, in the same line, the poet makes an allusion to oral sources

“as I haf herdetelle” (line 7).

This poem deals with alliterative revival themes where Knights are tested in

order to increase their honour and reputation. However, the poet makes use of this

literarytrend to satire this world, this poem leaves the knights in a bap position, they areRemesal 2

criticized. There is also courtesy, a knight is evaluated not only for his heroic deeds but

for his romances. Sir Gawain has a reputation in this sense he has to maintain. Besides,...
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