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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Audiobook Streaming

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Middle English: Sir Gawayn and þe Grene Knyȝt) is a late 14th-century Middle English chivalric romance. It ...


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Middle English: Sir Gawayn and þe Grene Knyȝt) is a late 14th-century Middle English chivalric romance. It is one of the best known Arthurian stories, with its plot combining two types of folklore motifs, the beheading game and the exchange of winnings. Written in stanzas of alliterative verse, each of which ends in a rhyming bob and wheel,[1] it draws on Welsh, Irish, and English stories, as well as the French chivalric tradition. It is an important example of a chivalric romance, which typically involves a hero who goes on a quest which tests his prowess, and it remains popular to this day in modern English renderings from J. R. R. Tolkien, Simon Armitage, and others, as well as through film and stage adaptations.
It describes how Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table, accepts a challenge from a mysterious "Green Knight" who challenges any knight to strike him with his axe if he will take a return blow in a year and a day. Gawain accepts and beheads him with his blow, at which the Green Knight stands up, picks up his head, and reminds Gawain of the appointed time. In his struggles to keep his bargain, Gawain demonstrates chivalry and loyalty until his honour is called into question by a test involving Lady Bertilak, the lady of the Green Knight's castle.

The poem survives in a single manuscript, the Cotton Nero A.x., which also includes three religious narrative poems: Pearl, Purity and Patience. All are thought to have been written by the same unknown author, dubbed the "Pearl Poet" or "Gawain Poet", since all four are written in a North West Midland dialect of Middle English.

Sir Ian McKellen is the narrator in this new, contemporary translation from the medieval verse by poet Simon Armitage of the poem that has become known as Sir Gawain And The Green Knight. Music has been specially composed by Gary Yershon.
Producer/Susan Roberts
Narrator ...... Ian McKellen
Sir Gawain ...... Sam West
The Green Knight ...... David Fleeshman
The Lady ...... Deborah McAndrew
Arthur/The Porter ...... Conrad Nelson
BBC RADIO 4 Afternoon Play 21 December 2006 845 M


Virtually nothing is known about the author of this poem, which was probably written around 1400 and is now considered one of the jewels of English literature.

It's Christmas festivity time and the Knights of the Round Table in Camelot are disrupted by the appearance of a green knight. The stranger has come to lay down a challenge - a test of courage and heart.


The poem takes listeners into Arthurian Britain at Christmas time, with the knights of the Round Table in good humour and full voice. But the festivities at Camelot are disrupted by the appearance of a green knight, a weird being whose skin, hair and even horse is green. The gatecrasher lays down a seemingly absurd challenge, but a young knight, Gawain, Arthur's nephew, rises from the table. What follows is a test of courage and a test of his heart, and during the ensuing episodes, which span an entire calendar year, Gawain must steel himself against fear and temptation.
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