Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the French Arthurian Romance

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This is an innovative and original exploration of the connections between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, one of the most well-known works of medieval English literature, and the tradition of French Arthurian romance, best-known through the works of Chretien de Troyes two centuries earlier. The book compares Gawain with a wide range of French Arthurian romances, exploring their recurrent structural patterns and motifs, their ethical orientation and the social context in which they were produced. It presents a wealth of new sources and analogues, which reveal and illuminate the Gawain-poet's sophisticated literary and moral understanding of the conventions of Arthurian romance. Throughout, Ad Putter pays close attention to the ways in which the modes of representation in romance are related to social and historical contexts. Focusing on the importance of conscience, courtliness, and self-restraint in Arthurian romance, this book explores the ways in which literati such as Chretien de Troyes and the Gawain-poet adapted chivalric ideals to the changing times.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[Putter's] book...reveals a professionally comprehensive command of romance tradition accompanied by perceptive reading of texts and levelheaded insights into medieval culture. This is a very good book, both in it promise for the future and in what it offers us now."--Speculum

"...a richly documented work, ambitious in its aims and admirable in its extraordinarily informative and thought-provoking contribution to the study of Sir Gawain that no serious student of medieval romance can afford to ignore."--Modern Philology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198182535
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Note on References
Introduction: Sir Gawain and French Arthurian Romance
1 The Landscape of Courtly Romance 10
2 The Convention of Hospitality 51
3 The Temptation Scenes 100
4 Honour and Honesty: The Heroic Ideal in Courtly Romance 149
5 The Social Function of Courtly Romance 188
Conclusion 244
Bibliography 251
Index 274
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