SIR GAWAIN & THE GREEN KNIGHT


sir-gawain.jpgsir-gawain-green-knight-1.jpg
Be sure to read the background info on p229 in the text in order to understand the context of the story. THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!!

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Reading Questions:
1. Where is Sir Gawain riding to at the beginning of the story?
2. Why is he on his way there?
3. How does Sir Gawain describe the surrounding terrain? What might this foreshadow?
4. What strange sight does he come across?
5. What strange sound does he hear? What is the cause of this sound?
6. How does this sound affect Sir Gawain?
7. Why do you think the Green Knight keeps Sir Gawain waiting?
8. How is the Green Knight described? How is his weapon described?
9. What agreement had the two Knights made the previous year?
10. What characteristics does Sir Gawain reveal in his response to the Green Knight?
11. What happens when the Green Knight takes his first swing?
12. How does Gawain respond to the Green Knights threats?
13. Why does the Green Knight stop his second swing?
14. Why is Gawain so angry at this point? What does he accuse the Green Knight of being?
15. What happens on the third attempt?
16. Why has Gawain shown more courage than the Green Knight had?
17. What explanation does the Green Knight give for each of his swings? To what actions do they relate?
18. Why is Gawain crying and so upset with himself?
19. What does the green sash represent? Why does he throw it off?
20. What has Gawain learned from this experience?


Below are 5 essay topics from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
You will choose any of the first 4 and MUST answer #5.
These are your final grades so complete these assignments with great care and attention.
Indent each new paragraph, check spelling, grammar and subject verb agreement.

1. According to some scholars, the poem may have been inspired by English folk plays for the Christmas season. In that case, the role of the Green Knight might have been analogous to that of Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas or, in contemporary times, Santa Claus. Compare the Green Knight to one or more of these figures that personify Christmas.


2. In SGGK, there is a great deal of testing that takes place. Talk about the types of testing, Gawain’s ability to pass (or fail) these tests, and what these passings or failings might say about Gawain.

3. Taking a broader look at SGGK, what do you think the moral or theme of the poem could be? What is the message the author is trying to teach his readers?

4. Discuss the Pearl Poet’s use of symbolism in SGGK. How does he use symbolism and why? What does this symbolism add to the poem?

5. In a more personal essay (but without “I” or “you”) make a connection to our times and SGGK. Do we see modern-day Gawains around us? Where do we see people passing or failing tests such as Gawain faced? You will need to use proof/examples from present-day life AND the SGGK text. Do NOT use “I” or “you”.