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Western Canon Book Club: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Thursday May 2 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EDT

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Explore with Joseline Yu the dangerous games played to test a knight’s virtue in the Middle English romance poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” as part of the Western Canon Book Club series.

In place of fights to the death that readers of older epic poetry are familiar with, games are played in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” a Middle English romance poem written by an anonymous author. It tells of the adventure of Sir Gawain, a knight of the legendary King Arthur’s court and also the king’s nephew, as he is roped into a game proposed by a mysterious green knight during a Christmas celebration in Arthur’s court.

Serious threats to Gawain’s honour and loyalty underlie the odd rules that Gawain has to follow and the poem’s refined courtly setting. What does it take to win a game with virtue and reputation at stake? Is it still worthwhile to learn from the battles of war epics to excel in battles of wits? We’ll discuss these questions and others during our salon.

Selected excerpts from the translation by Simon Armitage will be shared during the salon. Those who have yet to read or finish the text are welcome to join!


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Thursday May 2
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EDT
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