Gawain and the Green Knight


Gawain and the Green Knight
   This fine poem, written in the West Midlands in the later 14th century, not only has a plot centred upon a shape-changing giant but is rich in details of interest to folklorists. The Green Knight's brusque entry at Arthur's *New Year feast, bearing a *holly branch, is suggestive of the masquerades and games common in medieval households at that season; the beheading challenge he proposes has folktale analogues; his home in a hollow knoll recalls legends in which prehistoric barrows are linked to giants. His colour and ability to survive decapitation have provoked speculation about seasonal symbolism and vegetation spirits. Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell how much of this is due to the English poet drawing on customs and tales from his own culture, how much to his immediate source (a French poem now lost), and how much to the remote sources of the basic story, which were Celtic.
   ■ Text ed. J. R. R. Tolkien and E. V. Gordon, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1925; many reprints). Full translation in J. R. R. Tolkien, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl and Sir Orfeo (1975).

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gawain and the Green Knight — Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir →↑Sir Gawain and the Green Knight …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Gawain and the Green Knight — a long English poem written in the 14th century by an unknown author. It is about Sir Gawain, a knight at the court of King Arthur, who is told to perform various tasks by the mysterious Green Knight as a test of his faith. The poem is admired… …   Universalium

  • Gawain and the Green Knight (1973 film) — Infobox Film | name = Gawain and the Green Knight image size = 175px caption = original movie poster director = Stephen Weeks producer = Carlo Ponti writer = Philip M. Breen Stephen Weeks starring =Murray Head Nigel Green Robert Hardy music = Ron …   Wikipedia

  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight — is a late 14th century Middle English alliterative romance outlining an adventure of Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur s Round Table. In the tale, Sir Gawain accepts a challenge from a mysterious warrior who is completely green, from his… …   Wikipedia

  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight — Sire Gauvain et le Chevalier vert Première page du manuscrit original de Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Sire Gauvain et le Chevalier vert (en anglais Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) est un roman de chevalerie en vers allitératifs datant de la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight — (ca. 1375–1400)    Often considered the most elegantly written and stylistically perfect ROMANCE in MIDDLE ENGLISH, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight survives in only one copy and is found with three other poems in MS Cotton Nero A.x, Art. 3, in… …   Encyclopedia of medieval literature

  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight — Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Sir Gawain und der Grüne Ritter) ist eine mittelenglische Ritterromanze, die in der Tradition der Artusepik steht. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight — an English alliterative poem of unknown authorship, dating from the 14th century. * * * Sir Gawain and the Green Knight [Sir Gawain and the Green Knight] a long English poem written in the 14th century by an unknown author. It is about Sir Gawain …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight — Sir Ga|wain and the Green Knight a long English poem written in the 14th century by an unknown poet. It is about Gawain, a brave ↑knight in the time of King ↑Arthur, and his adventures with a mysterious green knight. →↑Arthurian Legend …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight — an English alliterative poem of unknown authorship, dating from the 14th century. * * * …   Universalium