Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: An Analysis of Parallel Scenes

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: An Analysis of Parallel Scenes

The anonymous author of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" was supposedly the first to have originated the alternation of temptation and hunting scenes, which both contribute importantly to the effectiveness of the poem (Benson 57). The two narratives are obviously meant to be read as complementary. Therefore, the parallel juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated episodes is the basic characteristic of the narrative. The narrative, which appears parallel, contrasts temptation and beheading tales; which posed the major problem of unity for the early critics (Benson 26).

H. L. Savage analyzes the relation between the hunting and temptation scenes and concludes that they are probably the best known explanation of narrative variation in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Benson 25). Simultaneously, one scene takes place in a bedroom, while the other in a forest. One scene concerns courtship, while the other the vigorous excitement of the chase of wild prey. These two sets of scenes differ in content and emphasis, however ...
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