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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $16.00
  • November 2009
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93025-2
  • 272 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Norton Critical Editions


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Laura L. Howes (Editor, University of Tennessee), Marie Borroff (Editor, Translator, Yale University)


This long-awaited Norton Critical Edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight includes Marie Borroff’s celebrated, newly revised verse translation with supporting materials not to be found in any other single volume.

The text is accompanied by a detailed introduction, an essay on the metrical form, the translator’s note, marginal glosses, and explanatory annotations to assist readers in the study of this canonical Arthurian romance.

“Contexts” presents two French tales of Sir Gawain and a passage from the Alliterative Morte Arthure, also translated by Marie Borroff, as well as three selections from the original Middle English poem.

“Criticism” collects ten interpretive essays on the poem’s central themes. Contributors include Alain Renoir, Marie Borroff, J. A. Burrow, A. Kent Hieatt, W. A. Davenport, Ralph Hanna III, Lynn Staley Johnson, Jonathan Nicholls, Geraldine Heng, and Leo Carruthers.

A Chronology of important historical and literary dates and a Selected Bibliography are also included.



    The Metrical Forms

    Translator's Note

    The Translated Text of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


    1. Sir Gawain in Middle English
    2. The Green Knight Enters, lines 130–50
    3. Sir Gawain's Shield, lines 619–39
    4. The Gift of the Green Girdle, lines 1846–69
    5. Two Old French Gavain Romances
    6. The Knight of the Sword
    7. The Mule without a Bridle
    8. From the Alliterative Morte Arthure
    9. Feast at Christmas


    1. Alain Renoir • Descriptive Technique in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    2. Marie Borroff • [The Challenge Episode: A Stylistic Interpretation]
    3. J. A. Burrow • [Recognition and Confession at the Green Chapel]
    4. A. Kent Hieatt • Sir Gawain: Pentangle, Luf-Lace, Numerical Structure
    5. W. A. Davenport • [The Hero and His Adventure]
    6. Ralph Hanna III • Unlocking What's Locked: Gawain's Green Girdle
    7. Lynn Staley Johnson • [Regenerative Time in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]
    8. Jonathan Nicholls • [The Testing of Courtesy at Camelot and Hautdesert]
    9. Geraldine Heng • Feminine Knots and the Other Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
    10. Leo Carruthers • The Duke of Clarence and the Earls of March: Garter Knights and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


    Selected Bibliography