Essay Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

Essay Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

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Sir Gawain and The Green Knight


In literature, insights into characters, places, and events are often communicated to the reader through the use of imagery within the text. Thus is the case with "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight". The Pearl Poet's use of imagery runs rampant within the work culminating to set forth the theme of mysticism and/or the supernatural. In this Medieval romance, the types of imagery used are that of the season or climate, the colors and textures of fabrics and jewelry, and that of the introduction of the Green Knight himself.
The seasons play a major role in the development of the plot, allowing action to skip several months at a time by simply mentioning the turning of the leaves. The thematic imagery starts to outline the theme of the supernatural, when dealing with meteorological changes. For example when Gawain is searching for the Green Knight's Chapel, it is mid-winter. Christmas is approaching, yet what answers his prayers comes in the form of something nearly unimaginable.
"We are made aware of the importance of the castle first when it just suddenly appears from nowhere and secondly when we notice it is set in a green field. The green field makes no sense to the reader because it is the middle of winter, but it does signify the fact that the appearance of the castle is not accidental. It is the combination of Sir Gawain's prayer, the appearance of a beautiful summer landscape and the castle in the middle of it that strikes the reader and asks the question: What does it mean? The castle is great with a "palisade of palings" planted about for about two miles. It is shining in the sun, and Sir Gawain is standing in awe looking at it. He is thankful to "Jesus and Saint Julian" that they h...


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...nd the
Green Knight . University of Florida. 3 April 2000 .
Tolkien, J[ohn] R[onald] R[euel] trans. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir
Orfeo . Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1975.
Tolkien, J[ohn] R[onald] R[euel] trans. & Gordon, E.V. ed . Sir Gawain and the Green
Knight (Second Edition) . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967.







Works Consulted
Coghlan, Ronan. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Arturian Legends . Longmead: Element
Books Ltd., 1993.
Fife, Graeme. Arthur the King: The Themes Behind The Legends . New York: Sterling
Publishing Company, Inc., 1990.
Goodrich, Norma Lorre . King Arthur . New York: Harper and Row Publishing, 1986.
Weston, Jessie trans. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. University of Rochester Library.
29 March 2000 .
White, Richard, ed . King Arthur: In Legend and History. New York: Routledge, 1998.

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