Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

ISBN: 0393097544
ISBN 13: 9780393097542
By: Unknown Marie Borroff

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Arthurian Classic Classics Fantasy Favorites Fiction Literature Medieval Poetry To Read

About this book

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late 14th century Middle English alliterative chivalric romance outlining an adventure of Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table. In this Arthurian tale, Sir Gawain accepts a challenge from a mysterious warrior who is completely green, from his clothes and hair to his beard and skin. The "Green Knight" offers to allow anyone to strike him with his axe if the challenger will take a return blow in a year and a day. Gawain accepts, and beheads him in one blow, only to have the Green Knight stand up, pick up his head, and remind Gawain to meet him at the appointed time. The story of Gawain's struggle to meet the appointment and his adventures along the way demonstrate chivalry and loyalty.

Reader's Thoughts

Mark Adderley

This is probably the greatest medieval romance ever written. Maybe that's extravagant praise--there's also Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, Dante's Divine Comedy, and a few others, but I do think that if it hadn't been for Chaucer, the anonymous Gawain-poet would have been considered the greatest medieval English poet.The story is about a beheading test--the Green Knight challenges Gawain to exchange beheadings. Gawain will behead the Green Knight now, and then undergo the same thing a year hence. Sounds easy, but the Green Knight is magical, and doesn't die--he just picks up his head and rides away.The plot is intricately constructed, interweaving the beheading challenge with bedroom seduction scenes, hunting, questing, religious piety, chivalry and honour. The poet keeps you on your toes--he leads you to expect one thing, then surprises you with something else. You don't know what's going on until you've reached the last line.This text is the standard one in Middle English, and although it's tough-going, it's worth it. For a handy translation, I'd recommend either J. R. R. Tolkien's or Marie Borroff's.

Apribbernow

I read “Sir Gawain and The Green Knight” translated by Marie Borroff. “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” is a romantic poem that was composed sometime in the 14th century depicting an event in the time of the 7th century during King Arthur’s reign. A New Years festival in Arthur’s Kingdom is interrupted by a large green Knight who is sitting on a green steed. He first asks where the host of the party is and then proceeds to make a proposition of a New Year’s beheading game. When no one steps up to the game he then mocks King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table for lacking the courage that they are rumored to possess. After hearing this King Arthur steps up in a rage and by doing so accidentally volunteers for the game. Sir Gawain then steps up to take his place because though the King should win this game if he did not then there would be chaos in the kingdom and if Sir Gawain were to lose then it would not be such a big deal. After the Knight rides away with his head quite disconnected from his body Sir Gawain has a year to contemplate his actions. Then throughout the story Sir Gawain and his chivalrous behaviour is tested through love of his own life, seduction and cowardice. In this poem the main characters are obviously Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Sir Gawain is the character that you follow throughout the story and his morals and code of chivalry are tested at many points in the story and succeeds and fails at proving that he is a chivalrous person at different points. The Green Knight actually makes two appearances in the story, once, obviously as the Green Knight and the second as the Lord of the Castle that Sir Gawain stays in on his journey to find the Green Knight. The Green Knight seems to be a very well thought out character who has everything all planned out. He already knew that as the Lord of the Castle he would try and make Sir Gawain seem as unfaithful as possible and then he knew how to manipulate Sir Gawain at the end of the story and in the end make him realize his wrong-doings. A few other minor characters are King Arthur who makes his only appearance at the beginning of the story, The Knights of the Round Table who are really only mentioned and never take a part in the story besides Sir Gawain, Guinevere who is Arthur’s wife and Queen and also a relative of Sir Gawain’s, The Lady of the Castle is the Green Knight’s wife and Queen and plays a huge part in exposing Sir Gawain’s non-chivalrous behavior. This story takes place almost completely in Britain. The New Year’s festival at the beginning of the story takes place at King Arthur’s Kingdom and then the rest of the story takes place in Northern Wales while Sir Gawain is searching for the Green Knight and finds him later on. Moral of the story in this poem to me is to be wary of the decisions you make and what codes and morals it goes against. Not only that but also that if you do break a code or one of your own morals that you have a very good reason for it and also to make sure you repent. Sir Gawain committed many wrongs throughout this story and at the end is called on them by the Green Knight and Sir Gawain realizes his wrongs and repents. I overall enjoyed this story though it was hard to comprehend at times with all the different types of words that were used in the 14th century and also the format of the poem was different to me so it threw me off. I would recommend it to someone who enjoys reading a fancifully worded story that takes place in the time of the Great King Arthur. Also people may enjoy the supernatural elements and thoughtfulness that the Green Knight brings to the story.

Logan Erdmann

I found this story to be a little confusing at times but I think it represents the time period well. It starts off with Sir Gawain accepting the challenge from the Green Knight for the beheading game. Sir Gawain plays in place of King Arthur. The game seems like an easy win for Sir Gawain but the Green Knight has supernatural powers and lives even after he has been beheaded. Sir Gawain now must let him return the favor a year and a day from the time the game took place. The main characters are Sir Gawain, the Green Knight, King Arthur, and the Lord of the Castle. Sir Gawain is a knight of the round table and Arthur’s nephew. The Green Knight is the proposer of the game and seeks to test Sir Gawain’s chivalry. King Arthur is the King of Camelot and the uncle of Sir Gawain. The Lord of the Castle allows Sir Gawain to stay at his place but is actually the Green Knight.The settings are Camelot on New Year’s Day, the Lords Castle, and the Green Chapel. This all took place sometime in the 11th century. One of the themes I found was the chivalrous behavior. Sir Gawain still makes the trip to what he thinks is his death. He holds still for the second axe blow from the Green Knight. He also accepts the challenge in place of his king. I would recommend this story to high school students that are interested in the time period of King Arthur and his knights of the round table.

Jenny J

An Arthurian poem in Middle English (written around 1400), accompanied by a very readable modernization by Simon Armitage. The story is simple: As King Arthur, his Queen, his knights, and their ladies are enjoying a Christmas feast, they are interrupted by the axe-wielding Green Knight, who challenges Arthur's champion, Sir Gawain (the purest and bravest and, well, you know the drill). His deal is this: Sir Gawain gets to deal him one blow with the axe, and the Green Knight won't fight back. Then, a year later, Sir G has to seek the Green Knight and receive an undefended blow in return. In between, Sir G travels the land, wrestles with temptation (guess who wins?) and is generally pure and brave.The pleasure in reading this is not really in the story. It's typical Arthurian fare, with plenty of chivalry and a nod to Morgan le Fay. Sir G's necessarily a bit holier-than-thou. But consider that this was written 600 years ago. And then read it out loud.When read out loud, this poem SINGS. The translator captures the alliteration and rhythm of the original, and it's just wonderful. The Christian allegory left me a little cold, but the language is lovely, and the nostalgic fantasy of a simpler, more violent but more honorable time, is nearly palpable. Good stuff.

Tyler

A strange green knight strides in, and proposes a challenge, a game of sorts. To complete the arrangement of the challenge, a knight must strike him and attempt to kill him, if he fails the knight will pay back in kind. A swing for a swing. At first, Arthur is prepared to accept the game, but Gawain is determined to take part in Arthur’s stead. Gawain strikes the head off of the green knight but the knight does not die and instead picks up his head and speaks to the knights of the round table. Gawain stays at a lord's castle, his actions there are paid back by the Green Knight. The Green Knight swings three times. Gawain kisses the lady of the castle, which causes the Knight to swing. Gawain does not keep his word, which causes the Knight to swing. At the end of the game, the Green Knight forgives Gawain. Gawain is a knight and has to follow the code of chivalry, but he is also human and succumbs to his wants. The Green Knight decides to teach Gawain a lesson. The lesson being that Gawain must learn from his mistakes and grow past them. The Green Knight brings a certain enlightenment moment for Gawain. The setting affects the characters. It is during the time of which knights roam and must follow a code. "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" takes place in eleventh century in Camelot. This code, Chivalry is what brings to pass many aspects of the story. The Green Knight for example teaches Gawain a lesson that he should follow the code. The moral of the story is to hold true to your word. Sir Gawain's word is the code of Chivalry. The promise of holding up these rules. The Knight forgave him at the end for not holding to his word. I'd recommend Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to teens and up because of how complicated the story is.

Tanja (Tanychy) St. Delphi

I didn't know where to post this so I think this is a good place! It remains me of my Literature professor, in a good way of course! :)

Thomas

Perhaps my favorite Arthurian classic so far. Loved the alliterative verse and the beautiful descriptions of seasons - the conflicting ideas centered on chivalry, courtship, religion, etc. all made the reading much more intellectually stimulating. Not to mention that the ending throws in a wedge that forces one to evaluate the overall theme of the poem, or whether a unifying theme exists at all. Highly recommended for those interested in British literature and for those who want to give it a try; it's much more bearable than Beowulf, and the seduction scene is one of my favorites.

Dan Tews

“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, is a Medieval Romance, that is based on chivalry. The story starts off in a kingdom called Camelot. The king and his knights were celebrating the New Year by feasting and other festivities, when a Giant Green Knight barged into the hall ordering to see the king. The Green Knight proposed a beheading game to the king and embarrassed the king in front of his knights. The Green Knight would give the king or any challenger his axe and they would have one strike to cut off the Green Knights head and kill him. If he fails, in a year and a day the challenger would have to find the Green Knight so that the Green Knight can repay the blow. Sir Gawain stepped in and told King Arthur that he could not put his life on the line, so Sir Gawain would take his place in the challenge because his life is not as important as King Arthur’s. The Green Knight laughed when Sir Gawain took the challenge, but still gave the axe to Sir Gawain and told him the rules of the game. When the Green Knight was finished explaining the rules of the game he bent over to receive the first blow. Sir Gawain wound back and chopped off the Green Knight’s head. His head rolled across the floor, the Green Knight picked up his head, and said that in a year and one day Sir Gawain will find him at the Green Chapel, so that the game can be continued. Sir Gawain set off for the Green Chapel in November, and come across a castle. The king said that Sir Gawain can stay in the castle as long as he gives the king any gift he receives from anyone of the castle. Sir Gawain receives a green girdle from the Queen that will keep him safe from the Green Giant, but he had to kiss the queen to get the girdle. He also did not give the King the gift because it was going to save his life, and he valued his life. After three days Sir Gawain left the castle to find the Green Chapel. When he found the chapel he was met by the Green Knight, and the Green Knight was happy that he kept his word. Sir Gawain prepared to receive his blow for the beheading game, when the Green Knight wound back and began to swing Sir Gawain flinched. The Green Knight mocked him for flinching, but Sir Gawain prepared himself again. The Green Knight wound back, began to swing, then he stopped and mocked Sir Gawain for not flinching. Sir Gawain prepared himself again, this time Sir Gawain did not flinch and the Green Knight swung and nicked Sir Gawain’s neck with his axe. The Green Knight then told Sir Gawain that he was actually the king from the castle and was proving a point to the Knight’s of the Round table, that they were not as chivalrous as everyone said they were. The King took the first blow of the game for not returning the green girdle to the king, the second was for kissing his wife, and the third was to finish out the game. "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", is about a Chivalrous Knight that made mistakes throughout the book. He shows Chivalry by volunteering for the king and keeping his word by going to his own beheading. Sir Gawain shows that he is not a perfect knight because he does not keep his word to the king that he would give whatever he is given back to the King. He also kisses the King’s wife so that he can get the green girdle from her. The Green Knight is an inspirational knight because he shows Sir Gawain that he is not perfect and tries to make Sir Gawain a better knight. He has supernatural powers that allow him to have his head chopped off and is still able to walk away. He has the ability to change from a human body to his Green Knight creature. The setting of this book takes place in the eleventh century. The book starts off in Camelot during New Years Eve and moves to a place called the Green Chapel around Christmas Eve. The change in the setting is evidence of the book being a medieval romance because adventure is one of its traits.The theme of this story in my opinion is to make people more chivalrous. I think that the author is trying to say that some people are going to try to be chivalrous, but no one is going to be perfect because we are all human and we all make mistakes. I think that this book was a good book for English, but it was kind of boring. This book did not draw my attention because there was not very much action, and it got kind of confusing at times. I recommend this book to people that like more challenging books and that are able to understand it.

Michael

When I found out we had to read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight for a current university subject, I was a little worried. I often struggle with analysing poetry and something written in Middle English was not going to be easy. Thankfully we had to read the Brian Stone translation, which only hints at being Middle English. This is a famous 14th century Arthurian romance that is often known for the beheading game.This is a typical quest narrative; The Green Knight exposes the Knights of the Round Table as timid and cowards when he challenges them to the beheading game. The rules are simple, one knight tries to behead the Green Knight and in a year and a day he will meet them for the returning blow. The Arthurian world is governed by a well-established code of behaviour. This code is one of chivalry, a romantic notion that is deeply rooted in Christian morality, being a beacon of spiritual ideals in a fallen world.The beheading game is a plot device used as a test in the quest narrative, Sir Gawain is thrown into participating in the game and he is left with a choice, to be a man that lives by his code or not. A game that is meant to measure the inner worth of the knights and it does it in a big way, it exposes the Knights as cowards but Gawain steps up, sort of.There is a whole lot of humour in this story that often gets over looked when trying to analyse this difficult text. The idea of beheading someone and them returning for a reciprocating blow should have given that away. However the supernatural elements might have made this difficult to pick up on the comedic value. The Green Knight can be interpreted as an allusion of Christ and the strong religious overtones might lead you to think that but I saw him more as a plot device to represent life’s challenges.Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was a rather beautiful and interesting exploration for me. The translation I read did make it easier to understand, I don’t think I could handle learning Middle English. I had to do an assignment on this text and the quest narrative so I feel like I’ve already said plenty about this poem before sitting down to writing this review. I hope there is plenty of information here and gives the reader an idea of what to expect when reading this poem. It isn’t hard to understand if you have the right translation and is well worth reading.This review originally appeared on my blog; http://literary-exploration.com/2014/...

Mark Adderley

It’s always puzzling to know what to do with a book subtitled “A New Verse Translation.” It’s all very well for the moment, of course, but what about in a few years? When the translation is no longer new, will it need a new title? I have similar reservations about terms like “postmodern.” What comes after it? Post-postmodern? And is modernism now called pre-postmodernism?All of which doesn’t seem strictly relevant, except that I can’t help feeling that there’s something slightly self-conscious about Simon Armitage’s new verse translation of the Middle English masterpiece Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which is somehow symbolized by the subtitle.The other thing about the subtitle is that it is exactly the same as Seamus Heaney’s new verse translation of Beowulf, which, since it was published in 1999, isn’t really new any more. On the front cover of Armitage’s translation is a glowing review from Heaney, and in the Acknowledgements section, Armitage acknowledges Heaney himself and his translation as one of his inspirations. Inside the jacket-flap, another reviewer, this one anonymous (like both the Beowulf- and Gawain-poets, ironically) but writing for the Sunday Telegraph, enthuses about how both Armitage and, earlier, Heaney, have helped “to liberate Gawain [or, presumably, Beowulf:] from academia.” Like Heaney’s Beowulf, Armitage’s Gawain has a facing-page original text and translation; like Heaney’s Beowulf, Armitage’s Gawain has a black cover with a stylish armoured figure on it; like Heaney’s Beowulf, Armitage’s Gawain has ragged pages along the vertical edge, making is I suppose equally difficult to turn the page.Heaney’s Beowulf was well known, among other things, for bringing the ancient poem right up-to-date—the new date, that is, not the eighth-century date at which the poem was composed. Thus, Heaney translated the poem’s famous opening word, “Hwæt!” as “So.” Further down the page, the Old English “þæt wæs god cyning!” became “That was one good king.” Such translations as these made many academics wonder about the advisability of providing “new verse translations” of medieval poems. But since, as the Sunday Telegraph’s reviewer enthusiastically proclaimed, the aim of both translations was to liberate the poems from academics, what they thought really didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that Faber and Faber in Britain, and W. W. Norton in America were turning not to translators with a knowledge of the Middle Ages for these translations, but to poets who had to learn the language as they went.I’ll give you some examples from Armitage’s Gawain. Early in the poem, when the feast in Camelot, the Gawain-poet writes that the canopy over the royal dais “were enbrawded and beten wyth the best gemmes / That myght be preved of prys wyth penyes to bye / in daye” (78-80). This can be literally translated as “were embroidered and beaded with the best gems that could be proved of value to buy in that day.” The translation is rough and unpleasant, but it’s literal. Armitage translates that the tapestry was “studded with stones and stunning gems. / Pearls beyond pocket. Pearls beyond purchase.” Here’s it’s not specifically the translation that’s at issue. Armitage has translated into a style that is hip for the moment—the use of parallelism and fragment—but which, for one, gives undue emphasis to a rather unimportant feature of the description and, for another, uses a poetic trick that pulls the reader out of the world of the poem and into the modern world. That was one good canopy.Here’s another example. When Gawain arms to face the Green Knight at the end of the poem, the poet describes his armour as “The gayest into Grece” (2023). Acknowledging that “into” might better be translated as “unto,” we can see that the line is supposed to imply that Gawain’s armour is the most splendid in Europe—in the known world, in fact. in the medieval imagination, Greece was the edge of the civilized world. It included Byzantium, the seat of the eastern Roman Empire, known for its stylized art, gold and blue, richness and wealth. The description places Gawain’s armour in that oriental world, giving audiences a mental image of splendour, brightness, colour, vividness. Armitage writes that “no man shone more, it seemed / from here to ancient Greece.” Armitage specifically limits the reader to thinking not of Byzantine art, but of the Greece of mythology. The original line held both implications. The translation directs us exclusively to one.In all fairness, Armitage defends this practice in his introduction and, as we might expect, his argument is airtight. So would an argument be from the opposite perspective. That’s the nature of argument. But I can’t help wondering if there’s something wrong with entrusting the translation of a masterpiece of medieval literature to someone whose expertise is modern poetry—Ted Hughes and the like. It’s like entrusting brain surgery to a heart specialist. Sure, he knows enough anatomy to get away with it. But I’m not sure that “getting away with it” is really enough. I’d like to be imaginatively transported to the world of medieval romance, not of new verse translations.It’s also only fair to add that this is a highly readable translation. You speed through these pages, and time flies away from you. You’ve just met Arthur at Camelot, and before you know it, you’re reading the concluding lines. Some lines are particularly beautiful, particularly the famous passage of the seasons, and one passage actually made me think about the poem in a different way. (It was the section detailing Camelot’s craven assertion that it would be “Cleverer to have acted with caution and care” [line 677:]; that puts their eventual glib and joyous acceptance of Gawain’s error into a wholly different perspective, for me.)Ultimately, I think, we have to see a book like this not so much as a translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, but as Simon Armitage’s poem inspired by it. As such, it’s a beautiful achievement—certainly as beautiful as Heaney’s Beowulf—and will hopefully lure many readers to its source, the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Leslie

Thoughts: I imagine if you’re interested in quests and bravery and peril this poem is pretty top notch. Quests, bravery and peril are not my cup of tea. I wanted more supernatural drama with the Green Knight and less courtship and hunting (though like a creep I enjoyed the detailed doe-, boar- and fox-gutting passages).I found the pageantry of knighthood both tedious and fascinating. It was like reading Lucky magazine; no tassel or surface on a knight suit went unnoticed. Same goes for the details of feasts or other finery.The courtship rituals were rather unsatisfying, what with the lady’s mostly failed attempts to “woo [Gawain:] into wrongdoing.” I am far more intrigued by wrongdoing than a chaste chase. Also, due to a complicated pact Gawain makes with the lady’s husband, he would have to “do it” with her husband had he “done it” with her. I give this poem an additional star for the homoerotic possibility. I did occasionally glance at the Middle English on the left side of the spread, and I liked noticing recognizable words/phrases like isse-sikkles (icicles), chalkwhyt chymnees (chalk-white chimneys), etc. It was like watching a french film when someone says "formidable" or "excellent."This is irrelevant, but as Gawain quested and prayed to the holy family ad nauseum, I couldn’t get that mid-nineties For Squirrels hit about Kurt Cobain out of my head: “And by the grace of god go I/into the great unknown/things are gonna change/in our favor.” It was a fun distraction. And while I'm talking about Kurt Cobain, if only this book had Courtney Love not Courtly Love.

Georgia Radtke

I did not enjoy the story 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'. Books that are fiction do not grab my attention. When reading a book, I like to relate to what’s going on. This story is organized by a series of main events that all lead up to be giant set up. As the story continues, Sir Gawain turns out not being the honorable knight he claimed to be. Through out this story Sir Gawain has to complete certain tasks in order to finish the game he started. The game delt with beheading each other, Sir Gawain thought he finsihed it at the first swing he took at the Green Knight, he now realized he got himself into a mess because the Green Knight is supernatural. Sir Gawain experiences humiliation to the fullest at the end. He does not listen to the rules that the Lord of the castle gave him nor does he confess. During the beheading game Sir Gawain undergoes a lot of pressure in hope to return to Camelot. 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' takes place in three different locations, Camelot, the Castle, and the Green Chapel. The story in the beginning starts one year prior to the ending of the game. The time is a big deal in the story because the games time span is one year, Sir Gawain had to prepare himself for what was about to come. There are a lot of themes in the story, one important one is loyalty. In the beginning he stepped up to the plate, so that the life of their leader would not be taken. As he goes through the game, he does not stay loyal to the Lord of the Castle. In the ending the Green Knight breaks it to him that he is not a loyal soldier that anyone could trust or count on. I would not recommend this book to anyone. It drags on to get to the point of the story. While reading it, it told a lot of un necessary facts. The story is not good because it incorporates the devil and in my personal opinion, anything that focuses on the devil is not worth reading.

Omri

Reading 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' took me over 10 years. I'm not a slow reader, but it did take me time to mature enough in order to understand and appreciate it. This version of 'Sir Gawain' is a rather simple, easy-reading, flowing one. It was a fantastic read for a classic, although I have a feeling that it is not delivering the exact intention and message as the original, maybe due to its somewhat contemporary mindset. Still, it is a perfect place to start with.I go the book at an old bookstore, I was browsing the shelves of the Fantasy/Sci-Fi books, looking for something good and exciting, and there it was - this strange cover from 1970's version. I saw it was in a poem format, which I wasn't reading that much back then, and decided to give it a go - for some reason which is beyond me. Had I known that it is going to be such a wonderful read, I would have probably given it a second go much earlier, but back then it was too much for me, and I didn't appreciate the intricate and playful poetic devices, the amazingly funny and witty composition and story, and basically - I wasn't that much in to poetry reading as I am now. So, coming down to it, what you've got here is an amazing introduction to the 'Sir Gawain' world, which really is a very good place to start. But it is just a start. A good one, but a start. The introduction to this book, one of the best introductions I've read in a long while, is so fantastic that it actually manages to reveal both the complexity of translating and understanding the original poem, and the approach of the translator of this edition - which is, for my taste, one of the better approaches to a poem such as this. And still, you can clearly see that there's more than just one approach, more than just one way to read it, and that this is but one aspect in an ocean of possibilities of understanding 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'.

Maggie

An excellent translation of a favorite work. Like Heaney's Beowolf, the original text is set facing the translation.What I particularly loved about Armitage's work is his devotion to alliteration throughout the work. As he explains in his preface, the Gawain poet was writing in a form that hearkens back to Anglo-Saxon poetry, where alliteration within the line instead of rhyming at the end is key to the music of the poem. Really, his introductory musings on poetry is a big part of why I enjoyed the poem so much.

Morgan Wilson

“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” was a narrative poem that had many elements of chivalry, love, loyalty, and destruction. This poem is a story of how a mysterious Green Knight rides into King Arthur's court and challenges any knight brave enough to a dual. This consists of one knight beheading the green knight. If the green knight lives, he will come back a year and a day later to do the same to that knight. Sir Gawain steps up and accepts this challenge in place of King Arthur. Sir Gawain soon realizes that this was not what he expected it to be. Throughout this book Sir Gawain grows as a person and develops even greater qualities than what he already had. Sir Gawain was one of the main characters of this poem. He is the one who displayed many of the themes that was portrayed by this tale. He was loyal to King Arthur and took his place in the beheading game. He also showed bravery and courage by accepting this challenge. Sir Gawain made a few mistakes and quickly learned from them. The Green Knight was also a main character of this poem. He challenged King Arthur’s knights to show their true colors and see who was actually brave enough to battle him. He was a big part of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” because he taught many lessons throughout it. Without him, the poem would not have had as many themes. “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” was composed around the year 1375 and took place in the eleventh century. It started out in Camelot at King Arthurs castle where the green knight first challenged them to the dual. It then went to North Wales in the lords castle who let Sir Gawain stay there for a couple nights. Once Sir Gawain left the lords castle he went on his way to find the Green Chapel where he would then finish the game that he started with the green knight. I think that there were many very strong themes shown in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”. A few main themes were repentance, loyalty, and also chivalry. This poem really showed that if you respect someone enough, you will do almost anything for them. Include risking your life. I think that the code of chivalry the knights practiced is something that has faded in our generation. This poem also showed me that people make mistakes and no one is perfect. No matter how hard you try you will most likely fail at some point, which is completely normal. All you can do after you fail is get back up and try again. I would recommend this book to high schoolers and older. It is a little harder to read because of all the alliterations but can still be an enjoyable poem to read. It has great themes that I think many people would like and relate to.

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