A survey of the scholarship of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Carver, Tommy Ray
Master of Arts, Texas Tech University (1975)
The material in this study was selected to present a survey of criticism of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (SGGK), and spans the years from 1952-1970. Within these years, only the most significant criticisms od the poem have been surveyed.
The three main divisions of the material separate criticisms of major themes; lesser themes; and the imagery, symbolism, and language of the poem. The topics comprising these chapters generally are not difficult to classify, for critics as a group tend to indicate either consciously or unconsciously what they consider significant points in a work.Certain areas, however, are emphasized by some critics and mentioned only in passing by other critics. Penitential doctrine and pride, for example, generally appear as major themes in SGGK, whereas the aspects of kingship in the poem definitely are not categorized as major points. Included in the chapter on language are criticisms of the poem’s structure and rhyme.