Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Notes: With Notes on Pearl and Brief Commentary on Purity and Patience

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Notes: With Notes on Pearl and Brief Commentary on Purity and Patience

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Notes: With Notes on Pearl and Brief Commentary on Purity and Patience

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Notes: With Notes on Pearl and Brief Commentary on Purity and Patience

Synopsis

The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background.

Including

  • A Note on the Text
  • Introduction to the Poems
  • Critical Commentaries
  • Essay Topics and Review Questions
  • Selected Bibliography

    The work of the Gawain- or Pearl-poet survives in a single manuscript, the Cotton Nero A.x., named for the bust under which it once stood in the Cotton library, now in the British Museum. The manuscript contains four poems, Pearl, Purity (or Cleanness), Patience, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Similarities of style, dialect, and theme strongly suggest that the four poems are all the work of a single writer. A fifth poem, St. Erkenwald, not found in the same manuscript, has sometimes been attributed to the same poet but is almost certainly the work of another hand.

    For a list of the various editions of the poems, both in the original Middle English and in modernized versions, see the Selected Bibliography. The basis of the present volume of Notes is the modernized version by John Gardner, The Complete Works of the Gawain-Poet, but where the modernization sharply departs from the original text the editions followed are Pearl, ed. E. V. Gordon; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, ed. Sir Israel Gollancz; and, occasionally, Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, ed. A. C. Cawley.

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