Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was great! I was so glad that I couldn’t remember how it ended because I really enjoyed reading it and anticipating the outcome. It was very dramatic!
Sir Gawain was written in the late 1300s, and the author is possibly the same one who wrote Pearl, Patience and Purity, three religious poems. The poem is half-comedy, half-religious character study. It combines chivalry and romance.
The language was beautiful. The book says it is written in the alliterative meter of Old English verse. The alliteration in each line is clever throughout. I almost had to skip ahead because the boar-hunting scene was so real that I really felt for the boar:
But in as much haste as he might, he makes his retreat
To a rise on rocky ground, by a rushing stream.
With the bank at his back he scrapes the bare earth,
The froth foams at his jaws, frightful to see.
The boar makes for the man with a mighty bound
So that he and his hunter came headlong together
Where the water ran wildest — the worst for the beast,
For the man, when they first met, marked him with care,
Sights well the slot, slips in the blade,
Shoves it home to the hilt, and the heart shattered,
And he falls in his fury and floats down the water,
Hounds hasten by the score
To maul him, hide and head;
Men drag him in to shore
And dogs pronounce him dead.
Poor little guy! I also enjoyed Sir Gawain’s vanity when he put on some borrowed clothes at the castle where he rested.
When he had found one he fancied, and flung it about,
Well-fashioned for his frame, with flowing skirts,
His face fair and fresh as the flowers of spring,
All the good folk agreed, that gazed on him then,
His limbs arrayed royally in radiant hues,
That so comely a mortal never Christ made
Plus, it’s hilarious (maybe not meant to be) that he must confess his indiscretion to everyone at home upon his return. “The blood burns in his cheeks, For shame at what must be shown.”