2008-9 Summer Term English Literature Assignment
Doc.d-r L. Kostova
Project Title: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has been described as a “pearl” among romances. Try to justify this view through a critical analysis of the text
Simona Dragomirova Penkova
Student No.:/ Year / Major: Fac. # 899 / Second year / English philology
The High Middle Ages is a period of European history between 11th and 13th century. It is a time of great social and political changes. During that age the rise of chivalry becomes common and it is followed by the occurrence of the religious wars known as the Crusades. These events seem to be of a great significance for English literature and culture. It is the time when the romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight appears and later on it proves to be one of the most remarkable works of the Medieval Ages.
The author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is still unknown but the manuscript of the romance is found with three other poems - Pearl, Purity and Patience, believed to be written by the same person. Very little is known of the writer , but his literary language seems complex enough so that most scholars think that e has been an university-trained clerk or the official of a provincial state. Mostly he is referred to as the Pearl-poet or the Gawain-poet . The poem is written in a dialect of Middle English that links it with Britain’s Northwest Midlands, probably the country of Cheshire or Lancashire, which excludes the idea that the mysterious author is Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland or John Gower, who wrote mostly for King Richard II. The alliterative form in which the poem is written, suggests that there is a pair of stressed syllables at the beginning of the line and another pair at the end of each line. The poem also uses rhyme to structure its stanzas, and each group of long alliterative lines concludes with a word or phrase containing two...
References: Anonymous. The Complete Works of the Pearl Poet. Ed. Casey Finch. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
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