Was he real? Historical documents, as well as archeological remains from Cadbury Castle in England, hint that in the early 500s there was a Celtic chieftain named Arthur who was victorious over invading German tribes. Many examples of oral literature developed about Arthur; however, by the time the tales were written down, no one knew what was truth and what was fiction.
In the literature of medieval Europe, King Arthur and his knights came to represent the ideals of chivalry, with its devotion to strength, loyalty, generosity, and courtesy.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight • Author unknown • Scholars have used clues in the literature to determine who the author is. • Written around 1370 • Author is educated (has knowledge of French & Latin). • Many believe author to be member of the clergy.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight • Only copy of the story was lost. • It was rediscovered in 1839. • It was found with other poems by the same author, one of which was titled Pearl. • The poet is referred to as “the Pearl Poet.” • The only copy is on display in the British Museum.