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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by James…
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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (original 1912; edition 1992)

by James Winny (Editor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,16982986 (3.76)1 / 294
The famous Middle English poem by an anonymous English poet is beautifully translated by fellow poet Simon Armitage in this edition. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight narrates in crystalline verse the strange tale of a green knight who rudely interrupts the Round Table festivities one Yuletide, casting a pall of unease over the company and challenging one of their number to a wager. The virtuous Gawain accepts and decapitates the intruder with his own ax. Gushing blood, the knight reclaims his head, orders Gawain to seek him out a year hence, and departs. Next Yuletide Gawain dutifully sets forth. His quest for the Green Knight involves a winter journey, a seduction scene in a dream-like castle, a dire challenge answered, and a drama of enigmatic reward disguised as psychic undoing.… (more)
Member:Saviarre
Title:Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Authors:James Winny (Editor)
Info:Broadview Press (1992), 170 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work Information

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Gawain Poet (1912)

  1. 161
    Beowulf by Beowulf Poet (OwenGriffiths, chrisharpe)
    OwenGriffiths: If you like Old/Middle English texts translated by great poets...
  2. 91
    Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson (chrisharpe)
  3. 60
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight / Pearl / Cleanness / Patience by A. C. Cawley (OwenGriffiths)
  4. 50
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo by Gawain Poet (Muscogulus)
    Muscogulus: Tolkien's fluent translations of "Sir Gawain" and "Pearl" are an excellent introduction to the genius of the anonymous Pearl-Poet. "Sir Orfeo" with its strange images of Faerie makes a good addition to the volume.
  5. 40
    The Sagas of Icelanders by Örnólfur Thorsson (chrisharpe)
  6. 30
    The poems of Ossian by James MacPherson (ghilbrae)
  7. 31
    The Death of King Arthur by Simon Armitage (jm501, jm501)
  8. 11
    Pericles, Prince of Tyre by William Shakespeare (EerierIdyllMeme)
    EerierIdyllMeme: Two works in older forms of English which play with forms from even older forms of English.
  9. 33
    The Odyssey by Homer (chrisharpe)
  10. 22
    On Hunting by Roger Scruton (bertilak)
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» See also 294 mentions

English (79)  Spanish (3)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
The story describes how Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table, accepts a challenge from a mysterious "Green Knight" who dares any knight to strike him with his axe, if he will take a return blow in a year and a day. Gawain accepts and beheads him, at which the Green Knight stands, picks up his head, and reminds Gawain of the appointed time. In his struggles to keep his bargain, Gawain demonstrates chivalry and loyalty until his honour is called into question by a test involving the lord and the lady of the castle at which he is a guest. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Oct 22, 2021 |
Many of you have likely seen the new David Lowery film, "The Green Knight." I've watched it twice, and find it to be a particularly mythic film.

Of course, it got me down the rabbit hole of the original myth.

In many ways, the original is far simpler than the film. There is no Saint Winifred. There aren't multiple lives. And there are some spoilers that are different than in the film. ( )
  willszal | Oct 16, 2021 |
Simon Armitage's translation is playful and readable, but sometimes the modern vocab felt tacked-on rather than part of a cohesive style. The poem itself is as weird and cool as ever, favorite scenes were of course the first head chop and the arrival at the chapel.

Yes I was inspired to reread it because of the movie-- which was also weird and cool, in slightly different ways. David Lowery did kind of wuss out by 1) only having Gawain and Bertilak kiss once instead of six times, and making Gawain not into it, and 2) not including all the extensive hunting and butchering scenes. But whatever. ( )
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
I think this is at least my third reading. It's the same classic edition I read as an undergrad. I'm glad this is one of the books that survived those times and remains in my library. ( )
  wyclif | Sep 22, 2021 |
Yes I'm only reading this because of the movie lol. I guess I wasn't super impressed with this, especially compared to other stuff from this time and place. I'm hoping the movie improves on such a sparse narrative, which I'm sure is necessary, because honestly this wasn't exciting at all. The "twist" did catch me, but I wouldn't say I liked it per se, the whole story felt so moralistic! I also hope the movie preserves the homoerotic elements. ( )
  jooniper | Sep 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (478 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gawain Poetprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pearl Poetmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Armitage, SimonTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Banks, Theodore HowardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borroff, MarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burrow, J.A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cooper, HelenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, KeithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hicks-Jenkins, CliveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, GwynTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirtlan, Ernest J.B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kredel, FritzIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, FredericIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Markus, ManfredEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merwin, W. S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neilson, William AllanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Donoghue, BernardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raffel, BurtonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ridland, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ridley, M. R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rieu, E. V.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, BrianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tolkien, J. R. R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vantuono, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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Epigraph
Dedication
To
My Lady of Dreams
My Wife
(Ernest Kirtlan edition)
First words
Siþen þe sege and þe assaut watz sesed at Troye,
Þe borȝ brittened and brent to brondeȝ and askez,
Þe tulk þat þe trammes of tresoun þer wroȝt
Watz tried for his tricherie, þe trewest on erþe:
Once the siege and assault of Troy had ceased,
with the city a smoke-heap of cinders and ash,
the turncoat whose tongue had tricked his own men
was tried for his treason - the truest crime on earth.

(translated by Simon Armitage, 2007)
When the war and the siege of Troy were all over
and the city flattened to smoking rubble,
the man who'd betrayed it was brought to trial,
most certainly guilty of terrible crimes.

(translated by Bernard O'Donoghue, 2006)
After the battle and the attack were over at Troy,
The town beaten down to smoking brands and ashes,
That man enmeshed in the nets of treachery—the truest
Of men—was tried for treason; I mean

(translated by Keith Harrison, 1983)
Once the siege and assault had done for Troy,
And the city was smashed, burned to ashes,
The traitor whose tricks had taken Troy
For the Greeks, Aeneas the noble, was exiled

(translated by Burton Raffel, 1970)
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine this work with the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight/Pearl/Sir Orfeo or any other omnibus work. Thank you.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

The famous Middle English poem by an anonymous English poet is beautifully translated by fellow poet Simon Armitage in this edition. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight narrates in crystalline verse the strange tale of a green knight who rudely interrupts the Round Table festivities one Yuletide, casting a pall of unease over the company and challenging one of their number to a wager. The virtuous Gawain accepts and decapitates the intruder with his own ax. Gushing blood, the knight reclaims his head, orders Gawain to seek him out a year hence, and departs. Next Yuletide Gawain dutifully sets forth. His quest for the Green Knight involves a winter journey, a seduction scene in a dream-like castle, a dire challenge answered, and a drama of enigmatic reward disguised as psychic undoing.

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Book description
Haiku summary
Gawain chops green neck
But flinches when it's his turn.
He is forgiven.
(bertilak)
The winter axe falls
and the green fruit rolls away;
Gawain will suffer.
(Michael.Rimmer)

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393060489, 0393334155

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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