Friday, August 29, 2014

Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

It is Christmas in King Arthur's court. The whole court is celebrating the holiday when an unknown knight enters the hall. He is large, and dressed in bright green clothes. He presents a holiday challenge to all the knights in the court. He will allow anyone to give him one blow to the neck with an axe. In exchange, they must allow him to do the same to them in a year and a day. Sir Gawain rises to the challenge. He discovers there is more to this challenge than he originally thought. This is the story of his terrifying adventures as he fulfills this challenge.

Another great version of an Arthurian legend. I easily became immersed in the tale. Sir Gawain's adventures and tests of his chivalry and honor draw you in. I liked this version of the tale and Sir Gawain. It showed his human side, and his struggles to live up to the codes of a knight. Although the Green Knight issues strange, and perhaps sinister challenges, he is not as creepy as the cover. The cover looks like a horror story, and it is not.

The alliterative verse is wonderfully displayed here, and helps to engage you in the tale. One of my favorite features of this edition was that the poem was in Middle English on one side, and in the recently translated English on the other. I had great fun trying to read the Middle English. If you like, try reading it aloud. The rhythm of the poem adds a lot to the tale.

If you like Arthurian tales, I recommend reading this book. 

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