Sir Gawain and the Green Knight | Critical Essay by W. A. Davenport

This literature criticism consists of approximately 57 pages of analysis & critique of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
This section contains 16,906 words
(approx. 57 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by W. A. Davenport

Critical Essay by W. A. Davenport

SOURCE: Davenport, W. A. “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” In The Art of the Gawain-Poet, pp. 152-94. London: The Athlone Press, 1978.

In the following excerpt, Davenport examines various techniques employed by the Gawain-poet, including symbolism, irony, and role reversals in his characterizations.

2. Gawain's Adversaries

The most puzzling, and hence the most variously interpreted, element in Sir Gawain is the double figure of the Green Knight-cum-Bertilak. He has been seen as Life, Death, God, the Devil, and the force of Nature, as a Wild Man, a primitive hob-goblin, a shape-shifter, as the force of an earthly moral integrity stripping courtly pretension of its class veneer, as a super-human primordial energy mocking the mutabilities of time and human triviality, and more. Most such ‘interpretations’ are fanciful generalisations based on unanalysed, impressionistic reactions...

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This section contains 16,906 words
(approx. 57 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by W. A. Davenport