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Background: “Sir Gawain & the Green Knight”. Medieval Romance People looked to religion and literature to help them live a virtuous life Chivalric tales: stories of heroic knights & their adventures; focused on chivalry Strict set of rules for gentlemanl y behavior

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background sir gawain the green knight
Background:“Sir Gawain & the Green Knight”
  • Medieval Romance
    • People looked to religion and literature to help them live a virtuous life
    • Chivalric tales: stories of heroic knights & their adventures; focused on chivalry
      • Strict set of rules for gentlemanly behavior
      • Moral and behavioral code
      • Combination of Christian & military ideals
      • Chivalric values: faith, modesty, loyalty, courtesy, bravery & honor
    • Knights respected and defended the Church, king, country & victims of injustice
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Background:“Sir Gawain & the Green Knight”
  • King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable
    • Set in an idealized world nothing like real medieval England
      • Arthurian world:
        • castles, heroes, magical spells
        • Courtly/gallant love
          • Modeled on feudal relationship between a knight and his lord
          • Knight serves lady with obedience and loyalty
          • Knight’s love for lady inspires him to do great deeds
background sir gawain the green knight2
Background:“Sir Gawain & the Green Knight”
  • King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable
    • Set in an idealized world nothing like real medieval England
      • Medieval England
        • Plagues, political battles, civil unrest
        • Women seen as men’s property and the inferior sex
background sir gawain the green knight3
Background:“Sir Gawain & the Green Knight”
  • King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable
    • Famous knights in King Arthur’s tales
      • Launcelot: greatest, most distinguished knight in later Arthurian tales
      • Sir Gawain:Arthur’s nephew; famous for courage and unfailing chivalry in early Arthurian tales
the romance genre
The Romance Genre
  • Imaginative adventure
    • Noble heroes
    • Courtly/gallant love
    • Chivalric code of honor
    • Daring deeds
  • Far Away Setting
    • Depicts events unlike those of ordinary life
    • Idealizes heroes and era in which they live
  • Lighthearted tone
  • Involves fantasy