Fantasy vs. Fantasy: a Comparison of the Two Knights’ Tales

1443 Words6 Pages
Jael Vincent
Dr. Hennessey
Survey of British Literature
3 October 2012
Fantasy vs. Fantasy: A Comparison of the Two Knights’ Tales
The two long poems Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Wife of Bath’s Tale have some similarities and some differences. While the stories are not nearly the same, some of the literary techniques and ideologies are the same. This paper will compare and contrast the two poems.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was written by an anonymous poet in the late fourteenth century. It contains 2530 lines written in Middle English. The poet used the literary techniques of alliteration and rhyme in this poem. Alliteration is the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. This can be seen in every stanza, excluding the last four lines of the stanza. One example is in line three, “the treacherous trickster whose treasons there flourished”. Rhyme is the correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words. The last four lines in every stanza contain end rhyme:
Where war and feud and wonder Have ruled the realm and space
And after, bliss and blunder By turns have run their race. (“Gawain” 16-19)

This poem is one of many tales about King Arthur and his knights. This poem employs the use of “magical realism”. In literature, this is when magical elements and events are made to seem as though they are real, natural occurrences. This is used throughout the poem. One example is when Sir Gawain chops off the Green Knight’s head, but the Green Knight was able to retrieve his head and continue a conversation. This is not something that is feasible in reality, but this poem makes it seem as though this can happen to anyone. This is most likely because of the audience for whom this story was written. This poem was intended to be read to or to be read by those of nobility status. Those

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