Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a poem that connects to the Arthurian legend and tells the story of one of the knights of the Round Table, Sir Gawain (can be pronounced GAH-win or Guh-WAYNE). It tells the story in verse. The poem is comprised of 101 stanzas.
As with our other readings so far, we have to read them in translation.
The version we will use for class comes from the University of Toronoto’s Representative Poetry Online website. This version includes the original text with a modern translation placed below each stanza. (Stanza numbers are above the original text, and that original text is then followed by the translation.You only need to read the modern translation.)
An advantage of this particular modern translation is that it retains the “bob and wheel” format of the stanzas. This is a significant poetic device that provides The Encyclopedia Britannica defines that term this way: “bob and wheel, in alliterative verse, a group of typically five rhymed lines following a section of unrhymed lines, often at the end of a strophe. The bob is the first line in the group and is shorter than the rest; the wheel is the quatrain that follows the bob.”
Background and Interpretation
Because Sir Gawain is a heroic character, resource readings about the work itself and the medieval hero are also part of our required reading.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Audio Book Part 1/3
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Audio Book Part 2/3