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Sir Gawain and the state of the Round Table.

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dc.contributor.author Shown, Cora Z.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-14T18:27:55Z
dc.date.available 2012-08-14T18:27:55Z
dc.date.created 1985 en_US
dc.date.issued 2012-08-14
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/2018
dc.description 102 leaves en_US
dc.description.abstract Of all King Arthur's knights, none has captured the fancy of Medieval English poets as has Arthur's nephew, Gawain, though none has received less justice from poets in recent centuries. Numerous surveys of Gawain's career have been written, but few have focused on analyzing Gawain as a member of the Round Table--his position, his contributions, his influence on its activities. The results of Gawain's adventures usually give the readers clues to and directly reflect the state of the Round Table at that particular point in time. The investigation will analyze this aspect of the Gawain character in five early medieval romances which span the years from 1350-1400: Le Marte Arthure (stanzaic), Marte Arthure (alliterative), and the much studied Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and two lesser known works, Sir Gawain and the Carl of Carlyle, and The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell. In all but the Stanzaic Morte, Gawain is a model of purity, courtesy, and valor, and thus we see the court prosper due to his influence. In Sir Gawain and the Carl of Carlyle, the Carl regains his faith in knightly courtesy, mends his evil ways, and is dubbed a knight by Arthur. Arthur's court is ennobled by the addition of another man converted solely through the representative behavior of Gawain. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gawain's self-confessed shame for breaking his word to save his life gives him a new found grace, and the Round Table achieves a higher nobility by its act of compassionate fellowship. In The Wedding and the Alliterative Morte, Gawain not only is a reflection of the court, but of the King himself. The numerous similarities in behavior, depiction, and action between Gawain and Arthur in the Alliterative Morte emphasize this reflection, but Gawain's depiction also foreshadows the major event of the poem--Arthur's death. In The Wedding, we behold a strangely insecure and covenant-breaking Arthur who must rely on a surrogate Gawain not only to save face for himself and his court but to save his life as well. This investigation will conclude with a study of the Stanzaic Morte in which Gawain's character is debased, and he is made to bear most of the blame for the disintegration of the Round Table and for Arthur's death. An inconsistent Gawain-character reflects the turmoil and fragile workings of a court that no longer stands on the foundations of trust, loyalty and brotherhood. Even in the negative portrayals that many post-medieval authors like Malory and Tennyson chose to create, Gawain appears as Arthur's confidant_ and upon his death, Gawain is the subject of great lamentation by Arthur and even the traitor Mordred, who through their words of mourning, reinstate Gawain in his rightful position as one of the noblest men in the world. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Gawain (Legendary character)-Romances. en_US
dc.subject Gawain and the Grene Knight. en_US
dc.subject Morte Arthure. en_US
dc.title Sir Gawain and the state of the Round Table. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.college las en_US
dc.advisor Melvin Storm en_US
dc.department english, modern languages and literatures en_US

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