English & Writing StudiesWestern Arts and Humanities

ENGLISH 9122 ~ The Gawain-Poet and the Middle English Alliterative Revival

Professor Richard Moll

Full Year Course.

The fourteenth century saw an astonishing revival of alliterative verse, a poetic form which flourished in Anglo-Saxon England but had all but disappeared from the written record by 1300. The undisputed jewel of this revival is BL MS Cotton Nero A.x, an unassuming manuscript which contains Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Cleanness (or Purity) and Patience. These four poems, probably by the same poet, will form the core of this course. We will explore each individually, the collection as a literary whole and the manuscript as the unique witness to the texts. In the second term, as students work on major research projects, we will place the collection firmly within the intellectual and poetic traditions of the revival by exploring contemporary works such as The Awntyrs of Arthure and The Parliament of the Tre Ages.

To view course syllabus, click here: English 9122.