Sir gawain and the green knight book cover
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Michael Smith: UnboundA new and handsomely illustrated translation of the Arthurian mediaeval masterpiece. Publication date: July This book is now in production but you still have the chance to get the strictly limited collector's hardback edition with its coloured endpapers, embossed boards and spot laminate cover. Written in the North West of England towards the end of the fourteenth century, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a masterpiece of mediaeval alliterative poetry. Comprising over lines, it draws on a rich vocabulary with ancient roots, including many dialect words still in use in Lancashire and Cheshire today. It is a magnificent work which rivals even Chaucer in the beauty and complexity of its language. As a north-westerner and mediaevalist myself, I have been attracted to this exquisite work like Tristan to Yseult — bewitched by its power.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
The majority of the questions are "right there" questions, and are to help the students understand what is happening in the book. I also use this as a quiz to make sure students read their assignments. I take the questions directly from the guide. The answer key is my answers, including the page number for your convenience. Some answers vary.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was required reading for literature undergraduates 40 years ago, and it has stayed with me ever since, though nowadays I seldom return to the original Middle English. That's laziness, and it deprives me of some of the best alliterative poetry in English. But what translations do give is the story, which has everything necessary for a good novel: a perfectly-formed plot, a protagonist with a tormented inner life, stirring action with neatly counter-pointed violence and sex, startling metaphors and superb natural description. Gawain's winter journey and the hunting sequences in the snow-bound forest remind us that nature, in the 14th century, was not the object of nostalgic quest, but simply the world as it was: beautiful, dangerous, uncomfortable and Other. The poem also carries a trailing weight of symbolism that you can drag as far as you like into the realms of Celtic myth and pagan pantheism.
It is one of the best known Arthurian stories, with its plot combining two types of folk motifs, the beheading game and the exchange of winnings. Written in stanzas of alliterative verse , each of which ends in a rhyming bob and wheel ,  it draws on Welsh , Irish and English stories, as well as the French chivalric tradition. It is an important example of a chivalric romance , which typically involves a hero who goes on a quest which tests his prowess. It remains popular in modern English renderings from J. Tolkien , Simon Armitage and others, as well as through film and stage adaptations. It describes how Sir Gawain , a knight of King Arthur 's Round Table , accepts a challenge from a mysterious " Green Knight " who dares any knight to strike him with his axe if he will take a return blow in a year and a day.