Forum Theme 1
Since its conception in the late fourteenth century, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has been lauded not only for its virtually seamless synthesis of Christian doctrine, Celtic myth, and Arthurian romance, but also for the complex and enigmatic poetics that have come to define and establish it as one of the most unique and perplexing texts within the diverse and substantial corpus of late medieval literature. A meticulously crafted, structurally symmetrical, alliterative romance governed by the dynamic interplay of proximate opposites and ostensibly contradictory discourses, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Sir Gawain) furnishes a revealing reflection of the ideologically vexed sociocultural milieu from which it emerged through its interrogation of the changing cultural constructions of honor and the problematic nature of chivalric ideals and their functions within the medieval court. As a literary mirror of the discordant amalgam of cultural discourses being simultaneously circulated and circumvented by chivalric codes, Sir Gawain exposes the precarious position of chivalric ideals in court society:
©2008 April E. Cook
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Cook, April E.
"Honor and Transgression: The Poetics and Politics of Shame and Guilt in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,"
UNIversitas: Journal of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity: Vol. 4:
1, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/universitas/vol4/iss1/7