Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


The fourteenth-century alliterative, metrical romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one or the most brilliant examples or medieval verso. In spite of persistent study, scholars have been unable to identify the poet, but the genius of the man is easily realized. The Gawain poet, as he must be called, combines brilliant realism with the fabulous, elements of the Christian ideal with pagan folklore, as the nuances of mood balance on the exactness of wording and description.

The following pages will attempt to show how the poet shaped his numerous resources to present a poem vital and alive with themes, symbolism, and characterization directed to the revitalization of the chivalric ideal.