King Arthur & the Matter of Britain

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Picture - Enright/St. John: King Arthur and a Companion
Gawain is the eldest son of Lot of Orkney and Morgause. He is the nephew of Arthur and one of his closest companions. He is the brother of Gareth, Gaheris and Agravaine, and the half-brother of Mordred.

"Gawain figures prominently in many romances. In France he is generally presented as one who has adventures paralleling in diptych fashion but not overshadowing the hero's, whether that hero be Lancelot or Perceval. In the English tradition, however, it is much more common for Gawain to be the principal hero and the exemplar of courtesy and chivalry, as he is in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and the other Arthurian romances of the Alliterative Revival." -- from the Introduction at The Camelot Project, The University of Rochester

The English Romances

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in Middle English, edited by J.R.R. Tolkien and E.V. Gordon, revised by Norman Davis, 1967 (at the University of Virginia), in the original orthography:
SIÞEN þe sege and þe assaut watz sesed at Troye
Þe bor3 brittened and brent to bronde3 and askez
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated into modern English prose by Jessie L. Weston (second edition, 1900), at the Camelot Project:
After the siege and the assault of Troy, when that burg was destroyed and burnt to ashes...
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a verse translation by Jessie L. Weston (c. 1900) at In Parentheses [PDF]:
Since Troy's assault and siege, I trow, were over-past
To brands and ashes burnt that stately burgh at last

J.R.R. Tolkien's translation was published in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo (1975).
Sir Gawain: Eleven Romances and Tales edited with extensive introductions and commentary by Thomas Hahn, at TEAMS:
The Grene Knight
The Awyntyrs off Arthur [The Adventures of Arthur]
The Avowing of Arthur
The Jeaste of Sir Gawain
The Knightly Tale of Gologras and Gawain
The Marriage of Sir Gawain
Sir Gawain and the Carle of Carlisle
The Carle of Carlisle
The Turke and Sir Gawain
The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell
King Arthur and King Cornwall

Ywain and Gawain, edited by Mary Flowers Braswell, from Sir Perceval of Galles and Ywain and Gawain, also at TEAMS.

Continental Texts

Three tales translated by Jessie L. Weston at Mary Jones's Celtic Literature Collective (New !):
Sir Gawain and The Lady of Lys, from the Perceval Continuation One (Pseudo-Wauchier) [French]
Sir Gawain and the Grail Part One, also from the Perceval Continuation One (Pseudo-Wauchier)
Diu Krône, selections from the Grail Episode [German]

Online Resources for Tales of Gawain

Gawain: Texts, Images, Basic Information at the Camelot Project.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anniina Jokinen is part of the Anthology of Middle English Literature and includes links to essays and student projects on Gawain.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Kim Neininger at Pace University includes A Character Analysis of Sir Gawain as Presented in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

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2 January 2005