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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (SGGK). The Gawain Poet. Unknown Author Tradition not to sign your name to your work SGGK found bound with other poems Known as the Gawain Poet or Pearl Poet Circa 1470 A.D. Gawain Style. Style and Genre Alliterative Oral Tradition

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The gawain poet
The Gawain Poet

  • Unknown Author

    • Tradition not to sign your name to your work

    • SGGK found bound with other poems

    • Known as the Gawain Poet or Pearl Poet

    • Circa 1470 A.D.


Gawain style
Gawain Style

  • Style and Genre

    • Alliterative

    • Oral Tradition

    • Romance / Adventure Narrative

      • Any imaginative adventure concerned with noble heroes, gallant love, a chivalric code of honor, and daring deeds.

      • Far away places

      • Idealized


Purpose
Purpose

  • Reinforce values of a burgeoning society

    • European medieval culture emerging from chaotic past

    • Reinvention of civilization

    • Important: Uncertain how to balance BRAVERY and CHRISTIANITY



Divine right of kings
Divine Right of Kings

The king is chosen by God

Mess with the king = Mess with God

God

King

Clergy

Nobility

Middle Class

Peasants

Women


Chivalry
Chivalry

  • Chivalric Ideal

    • Fearless courage

    • Single minded devotion to lord or lady

    • Amatory prowess

    • Without equal on the tournament field and in the ladies’ boudoirs

  • Five Important Virtues:

    • Generosity, Charity, Cleanness, Courtesy, Pity


Christmas
Christmas

Early Catholicism

  • Advent

    • 12 days of Christmas 12/25-1/6 (Feast of Epiphany)

    • Somber season – birth and death

  • Exchanges

    • Pagan holiday

    • Gift giving

  • Covenant of Grace

    • Emblem of suffering becomes a symbol for redemption

  • Circumcision

    • January 1st (Circumcision of our Lord)



  • The pentangle
    The Pentangle

    • Image of Virgin Mary on the inside

    • Five points are linked and locked (“endless knot”)

      • Faultless in five senses (chastity/intelligence)

      • Never found to fail in his five fingers (physical agility)

      • Faithful to the five wounds that Christ received on the cross (trustworthiness)

      • Strengthened by the five joys that the Virgin Mary had in Jesus (Annunciation, Nativity, Resurrection, Ascension, Assumption)

      • Possesses 5 virtues (see chivalry notes)


    Five tests
    Five Tests

    • Mental Test: The game with the Green Knight

    • Physical Test: Strike the blow correctly

    • Trustworthiness Test: Journey to Green Chapel

    • Faithfulness Test: Bedroom Temptations

    • Social Virtues Test: Gifts and Exchange

      • The girdle/sash Felix Culpa (blessed fault)


    Final questions
    Final Questions

    • Define sin according to Dante.

    • Differentiate between Dante’s view of sin and redemption and the Pearl Poet’s views in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.


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