Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A Close Verse Translation

Larry D Benson (Editor) Daniel Donoghue (Foreword by)


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late fourteenth-century Middle English alliterative romance outlining an adventure of Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur's Round Table. In this poem, Sir Gawain accepts a challenge from a mysterious green warrior. In a struggle to uphold his oath along this quest, Gawain demonstrates chivalry, loyalty, and honor. This new verse translation of the most popular and enduring fourteenth century romance to survive to the present offers students an accessible way of approaching the literature of medieval England without losing the flavor of the original writing. The language of Sir Gawain presents considerable problems to present-day readers as it is written in the West Midlands dialect before English became standardized. With a foreword by David Donoghue, the close verse translation includes facing pages of the original fourteenth-century text and its modern translation.

Medieval European Studies Series, Volume 13

Product Details

West Virginia University Press
Publish Date
May 01, 2012
5.5 X 0.6 X 8.4 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Larry Benson is Emeritus Professor of English at Harvard University. The editor of the Riverside edition of Chaucer's works, he is also the author of Contradiction: From Beowulf to Chaucer; King Arthur's Death: The Middle English Alliterative; Morte Arthure and Stanzai Morte Arthur; Mallory's Morte D' Arthur; and The Learned and the Lewed: Studies in Chaucer and Medieval Literature.

Daniel Donoghue is the John P. Marquand Professor of English, Harvard University.


"The great virtue of this translation is its brilliant faithfulness to the original and the way it preserves much of the flavor and stylistic vigor of the original."
Robert Hasenfratz, Professor of Medieval Studies, University of Connecticut