Sir Gawain and the Classical Tradition: Essays on the Ancient Antecedents
McFarland, Mar 9, 2018 - History - 223 pages
The 14th century English alliterative poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is admired for its morally complex plot and brilliant poetics. A chivalric romance placed in an Arthurian setting, it has since received acclaim for its commentary regarding important socio-political and religious concerns. The poem's technical brilliance blends psychological depth and vivid language to produce an effect widely considered superior to any other work of the time. Although the poem is a combination of English alliterative meter, romanticism, and a wide-ranging knowledge of Celtic lore, continental materials and Latin classics, the extent to which Classical antecedents affected or directed the poem is a point of continued controversy among literary scholars. This collection of essays by scholars of diverse interests addresses this puzzling and fascinating question. The introduction provides an expansive background for the topic, and subsequent essays explore the extent to which classical Greek, Roman, Arabic, Christian and Celtic influences are revealed in the poem's opening and closing allusions, themes, and composition. Essays discuss the way in which the anonymous author of Sir Gawain employs figural echoes of classical materials, cultural memoirs of past British tradition, and romantic re-textualizations of Trojan and British literature. It is argued that Sir Gawain may be understood as an Aeneas, Achilles, or Odysseus figure, while the British situation in the 14th century may be understood as analogous to that of ancient Troy.
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The Trojan Framework of Sir Gawain and
Ritual Sacriﬁce and the PreChristian Subtext of Gawains
The Tresounous Tulk in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Classical AnaloguesEastern and Westernof Sir Gawain
Classical Magic and Its Function
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Achilles Aeneas Aeneas’s Aeneid allegorically Antenor arabesque Arabic argues Arthur Arthur’s court Arthurian audience beheading belt Bernardus Bertilak Book Britain Brutus Cambridge Camelot Celtic century Chaucer Chrétien Chrétien de Troyes Christ Christian classical courtly Criseyde critics culture death deﬁnes deﬁnition di›erent Dido E. V. Gordon e›ect essay fall of Troy ﬁgural ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁve Fulgentius Gawain poet Gawain’s shield Geo›rey’s golden Gower Greek Green Chapel green girdle Green Knight hero human sacriﬁce hunting inﬂuence J. R. R. Tolkien King Lady Lady’s Latin Lindow literary literature London magic medieval Middle Ages moral Morgan Morgan le Fay motif Namuci narrative o›ers ňat Odysseus Oxford pagan Pearl pentangle poem poem’s poet’s readers reference reﬂection ritual romance SGGK signiﬁcance simile Sir Gawain sources story Studies su›ering suggests symbol Tale tion Tolkien tradition trans Troilus Trojan tulk Turnus Vergil Vergil’s Aeneid virtue watz York