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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and French Arthurian Romance$
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Ad Putter

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198182535

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198182535.001.0001

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The Landscape of Courtly Romance

The Landscape of Courtly Romance

(p.10) 1 The Landscape of Courtly Romance
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and French Arthurian Romance

Ad Putter

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the civilizing impulse in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by considering the opposite of civilization or the world outside the castle. Unlike most authors of romantic fiction, the author of this work has an eye for the detail that can create an illusion of reality. The description of the landscape is so precise that it has led many critics to the map of medieval England to reconstruct Sir Gawain's itinerary. However, there is danger in considering this setting realistic or naturalistic because the geographical details in this work are determined by the internal logic of the narrative itself and by a literary tradition of representations of nature.

Keywords:   Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, landscape, literary setting, romantic fiction, nature, civilization

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