Essays over sir gawain and the green knight

Yet the centuries of guerrilla fighting had produced something more than hardihood and independence. The Border was the home of harpers and violers, and from it came some of the loveliest of northern airs, and most of the greatest ballads in any literature. It had always had a tradition of a rude minstrelsy, for during the peace of the winter season, at the Yule and Hogmanay revels, at the burgh fairs, at sheep clippings and “kirns” and at the shieling doors in the long summer twilights, wandering minstrels would sing of old days, of the fairies in the greenwood and the kelpies in the loch, and of some deed of prowess the rumour of which had drifted across the hills. Out of this tradition, perhaps some time in the sixteenth century, the great ballads were made by singers whose names have been lost—­maybe the dead poets chronicled in Dunbar’s “Lament of the Makars.” The innominate balladists left behind them poetry which often reached the highest levels {19} of art, and which at the same time woke an immediate response in those for whom it was composed. So the Borderer, however scanty his learning, fell heir to a body of great literature, passed by word of mouth from father to son—­a literature bare as the grey bent of his hills, rarely mirthful, telling mostly of tragic loves and tragic hates, but inculcating, as fiercely as the Sagas, the noble austerities of courage and duty.

These glowing portraits of Gawain all but ended with Sir Thomas Malory 's Le Morte d'Arthur , which is based mainly, but not exclusively, on French works from the Vulgate and Post-Vulgate Cycles. Here Gawain partly retains the negative characteristics attributed to him by the later French, and partly retains his earlier positive representations, creating a character seen by some as inconsistent, and by others as a believably flawed hero. Gawain is cited in Robert Laneham 's letter describing the entertainments at Kenilworth in 1575, [28] and the recopying of earlier works such as The Greene Knight suggests that a popular tradition of Gawain continued. The Child Ballads include a preserved legend in the positive light, The Marriage of Sir Gawain a fragmentary version of the story of The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle . He also appears in the rescue of Guinevere and plays a significant role though Lancelot overshadows him. In Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur , Guinevere is found guilty, however, Lancelot returns to help Guinevere to escape from the castle. Although, Mordred has sent to word to King Arthur, Arthur sends a few knights to capture Lancelot, and Gawain, being a loyal friend to Lancelot, refuses to take part of the mission. The battle between Lancelot and Arthur's knights results in Gawain's two sons and his brothers, except for Mordred, being slain. This begins the estrangement between Lancelot and Gawain, thus drawing Arthur into a war with Lancelot in France. While King Arthur is deployed to France, Mordred takes control of the throne, and takes advantage of the kingdom. Gawain wages two wars between Mordred and Lancelot. He is mortally wounded in a duel against Lancelot who later lies for two nights weeping at Gawain's tomb. Before his death, Gawain repents of his bitterness towards Lancelot and forgives him, while asking him to join forces with Arthur and save Camelot . [1]

Essays over sir gawain and the green knight

essays over sir gawain and the green knight


essays over sir gawain and the green knightessays over sir gawain and the green knightessays over sir gawain and the green knightessays over sir gawain and the green knight