Welcome to Week 11

Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

Overview

Written by an unknown author, the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the finest chivalric romances in the English language. The poem is set at Christmas time in the fabled kingdom of Camelot. During a royal festival, King Arthur and his knights are suddenly interrupted by a seemingly noble visitor, the Green Knight. The Green Knight disparages Arthur and his knights and issues a challenge. Sir Gawain steps in for King Arthur and decapitates the Green Knight. The royal court is stunned when the Green Knight retrieves his head and bids Sir Gawain to find him in one year. The poem considers many questions of courage, honesty, fellowship, and penitence, as Sir Gawain seeks to fulfill his promise.


Justin Jackson is an Associate Professor of English at Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from California State University, Fresno, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Purdue University.