Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Cleanness, Patience” as Want to Read:
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Cleanness, Patience
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Cleanness, Patience

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  4,897 ratings  ·  78 reviews
For students of Middle English, Andrew and Waldronincluded on a CD-ROM at the back of the book for students to use as a working tool. This timely revision ensures the continued quality and consummate translation that students and scholars have come to expect from the Andrew-Waldron edition.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 2005 by Everyman Paperbacks
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Cleanness, Patience

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey ChaucerBeowulf by UnknownA Distant Mirror by Barbara W. Tuchman
Best Middle Ages Books
169th out of 921 books — 1,131 voters
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Iliad/The Odyssey by HomerBeowulf by UnknownThe Odyssey by HomerThe Nibelungenlied by Unknown
World's Greatest Epics
56th out of 156 books — 75 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dan Prillwitz
“Sir Gawain” is a narrative poem that tells us a story about chivalry. Sir Gawain is the knight who is tested. On New Year’s Eve a Green Knight comes to Camelot looking to play a game. He asked who the leader of the castle was, because he figured he would be the one to play the game. King Arthur tells the Green Knight he is the leader and the Green Knight tells the King all the rules of the game. The Knights at the Roundtable know they should not let their King play the game so Sir Gawain is the ...more
Brea Mapes
I read the Medieval Romance “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” translated by Marie Borroff. This poem was a test of chivalry for Sir Gawain. The Green Knight proposes for someone to play his game. The rules were that one person is to try and cut the head off of the Green knight, and if they succeed they get to keep the ax. Although if they fail, in 12 months and a day the Green Knight will be able to cut the head off of his opponent. The game took place and someone lost, but in the end there was ...more
Ryan Pomerenke
“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” is a story that mainly focused on Gawain’s chivalry being tested in many ways by the Green Knight. Everything began when a knight wearing nothing but green showed up to King Arthur’s home in Camelot. The knight asked Arthur to participate in his beheading game. To everyone’s surprise, Sir Gawain, another Knight of the Round Table, suggested that he play in his King’s place. Gawain is told that he can have one swing at the Green Knight’s head, but if the knight s ...more
Karl Steel
Nearly done teaching it. Borroff's translation is, I guess, tied for the best available, but--and I hate to be a snob about it--there's really no substitute for the original. I doubt Borroff would disagree with me.

which isn't to say that the translation can't be improved* in places: for example, a nice short piece by R. J. Dingley in Explicator some years back suggested that the "gyn" of Patience 146 ("Hit wat3 a ioyles gyn þat Jonas wat3 inne") be glossed as "craft," while Borroff does it as...
I just finished reading this book for my humanities class as part of our Poet unit, and I found it to be difficult to get into at first, although the last two Fitts really made up for it. After finishing the story, I realized that the story isn't simply for entertainment value, but rather as a means of realizing how Sir Gawain was determined to prove himself and thus become less "green". Unlike the other knights, Gawain feels that he needs to prove himself worthy of being a knight, especially si ...more
The rating is for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as I haven't (yet) read the others. Sir Gawain is classic, it is rich and strange, full of weird symmetries and magic and winter and chivalry and language that is at once intricately structured and fiercely vital. I somehow have managed to acquire four copies of it––the Tolkien and Borroff translations, this, and the text in my Medieval English Lit textbook.
Rima Rashid
Gawain's my bae.
My review of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is here!

"Pacience is a poynt, þa3 hit displese ofte.
When heuy herttes ben hurt with heþyng oþerelles,
Suffraunce may aswag[en] hem & þe swleme leþe,
For ho quelles vche a qued & quenches malyce;
For quoso suffer cowþe syt, sele wolde fol3e,
& quo for þro may no3t þole, þe þikker he sufferes."

Having already read the most famous work by the Pearl Poet, I decided to give his other works a shot. While I have to say that "Perle" outshin
N.J. Ramsden
This facsimile edition from the Early English Text society comes unbound in a ribbon-fastened box, with an introduction and notes from the 1923 publication. Any concerns about the effects the passage of time since upon the scope of literary criticism must be balanced fairly against the primary reason for this edition still being in print – that there isn't a more recent facsimile. The British Library is currently in the process of digitising texts of this kind, for open online access, but althou ...more
there is no time more beautifully, ominously dark than the week between christmas day and the coming of the new year; we eat and drink and make merry, with our windows tightly shut and our doors firmly barred against the wild winter but it's impossible not to feel the chill of the year breathing its last. it's this eerie sense of dread that i love about sir gawain and the green knight, the way the boundaries between the court and the wild, nature and the supernatural, reality and fantasy, histor ...more
I teach British Literature, so I am very familiar with epic poetry and those involving heroes and chivalry, and tales of King Arthur's court. What I enjoy most about these tales is that whoever composed this poem, and others like it, knew the value of instilling the values of the ideal man to the people who listened to these poems performed in person. The common person could hear these tales and walk away thinking about his/her life, and what he or she needed to do to become the shining example ...more
Des Small
If you only read one chivalric Arthurian romance in alliterative middle-English verse, it should probably be this one.

Middle-English alliterative verse itself noted for (a) randoume spellynge (it is a curiosity that if you spell inconsistently by ear these days you'll get denounced as semiliterate but these medieval monks get a pass for that) and (b) a gazillion synonyms for "bloke" so that you can aliterate on any letter while still talking about a bloke or geezer or chap or fellow or knight o
N.J. Ramsden

There's no doubting the value of the source material – the Pearl MS is a fascinating document, and its poems a wonderful set of Middle English texts, the language throbbing from the page – but this edition, standard as it may be considered, is in sorry need of updating.

Firstly, the typesetting is about as unfriendly to close reading as it could be, with the slight differences between bold, regular, and italic text of a rather fudgy appearance mad
Bet Roberts
I originally had to pick this up for class, but recently read the rest of the poems on my own. It's a fascinating look into the Medieval mind, and the essays and footnotes by Marie Borroff are insightful and engaging.

These poems are often strange, but I cannot help but be captivated by them. The Gawain Poet (whoever he was) was a shows in his allusions and in his words. The poems themselves run from the complex and heavily theological Pearl, to the simpler but no less moving Saint
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brianne Durrant
Although "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" was a little difficult to understand, it was a good book to read. I loved the message. This book is about testing for Chivalry. One day on New Year’s Eve, King Arthur and his knights were having a feast when The Green Knight interrupted and asked King Arthur to play the beheading game. The beheading game is where if he can chop off the Green Knight's head, he wins. However, if he does not, the Green Knight gets to do the same thing one year later. Sir G ...more
Raven Loweframe
Of this collection, I only read Patience and Sir Gawain. 'Patience' was read years ago when I was still a BA student, while 'Sir Gawain' have marked my entire studies in terms of medieval literature. Not a semester without having to read it at least once. Not that I complain.

This edition is a must have for any students - though I am certain your teachers know that already. For anyone else, the spelling may be off-putting, since the original has been kept. Be prepared. (Reading it aloud helps qu
Adam Krause
“Sir Gawain” is an interesting narrative poem. The poem tells a story of a knight and and his commitment to chivalry. Sir Gawain is this knight and he is put through challenges without knowing he is being tested. A mysterious green knight is in command of these challenges. Sir Gawain will soon find out by the end of his test if he really is an honorable knight of the round table.

Sir Gawain is the main character of the story. He is a knight of the round table and stands up for what is right. King
One of the wonderful things about Medieval literature is that its tools and templates are quite strict and often familiar, and I still don't know how it's going to end. I was pulled through this poem on the basis of sheer anticipation. The ending still threw me for a loop.

Lately I want books about heroes: people who do the hard thing even when they don't have to, who suffer discomfort without complaint, who rely on their wits and strength and "curteisye" toward others. I don't really want to be
Pearl is my favorite poem, hands down. I don't know what it is about the poem that I love so much. It could be the almost musical quality to the words or the alliterations, the beautiful imagery, or the sweet, touching story. I just love the poem.

I'm not a big poem fan, and I think the resaon I love this so much is because it's a story really. Even though you know you're reading a poem because the voice alone but it wove sadness and hope and had a plot and it just captivates.

I know the "Pearl P
A descriptively vivid and highly alliterative musical style gives this poem, just superficially, a high interest. Beyond that, we have one of the greatest allegories of romance ever conceived, and a masterfully woven plot that guides the reader along as if on gently sloping hills. Gawain is so difficult to categorize, however, because the plot seems light and breezy, there is literally laughter throughout the whole poem, but the events tell a tale of a profound limitation hidden within human nat ...more
I read these works (and did a presentation on "Pearl") for a university class - a great example of medieval religious poetry and the medieval interpretation of signs and dreams.
Very, very odd choices made in gloss. Inconsistent, and imposes a structure onto the text that does not exist in the manuscript.
Loren Harway
Oct 29, 2008 Loren Harway rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those in need of courtesye
Recommended to Loren by: Generic evil lecturer no.2
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I enjoyed finally being able to finish Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. My english lit. book in highschool had told the first part, but did not finish it. So for about 2 years I was doomed to wondering how Gawain got out of it alive-or if he even did. I was therefore please when I found a copy in my university library. I enjoyed these translations very much, and the notes for the text were helpful and informative.
If you are a Chaucer fan you will be delighted with this little gem. Written anonymously in the 13th or 14th Century, its a tale told many, many times over the years. Sir Gawain is to be tested by a green knight and the entire truth and gallantry of Arthur's knights are tested through him. The giant makes a deal with Sir Gawain and the ensuing wager is one of chivalry on both sides. To tell any more would create spoilers. This translation is easy to understand but also has the Olde English versi ...more
Sam Pryce
Surprisingly enjoyable tale of the supernatural, the flaws of chivalry and of human nature. The dialect is daunting at first but soon becomes pleasurably hypnotic.
Mark Adderley
This is a nice translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It reads very smoothly, and is quite accurate to the original Middle English.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo by J.R.R. Tolkien Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Gawain-poet
So far I have only read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The alliteration and structure is brilliant. Unfortunately, I am not. At least when it comes to reading Middle English. As much as I love etymology and language, I felt I didn't glean as much of the poem as I could have without being better instructed in the language. Perhaps I can remedy that inconvenience and give it another go in the future. From what I can tell, this work still deserves five stars.
I'm sure I would have liked it better if I understood it. It did help that I had to read it for a class so my professor could help us explore the value of it. Literature like this is hard because there is usually one surviving copy that all translations are based on. Even so, I generally enjoy any story that deals with the Knights of the Round Table, so that was enough to hold my attention even though a lot of it was lost on me.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Unknown vs. Pearl Poet 4 21 Mar 30, 2015 06:30AM  
  • The Riverside Chaucer
  • Piers Plowman
  • The Lais of Marie de France
  • Complete Works
  • The Book of Margery Kempe
  • The Romance of Tristan
  • The Romance of Arthur, New, Expanded Edition: An Anthology of Medieval Texts in Translation
  • Arthurian Romances
  • The Death of King Arthur
  • The Romance of the Rose
  • Anglo-Saxon Poetry (Everyman's Library)
  • The History of the Kings of Britain
  • Tristan: With the Tristran of Thomas
  • Ecclesiastical History of the English People
  • The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse
  • The Book of the City of Ladies
  • Tales from Ovid: 24 Passages from the Metamorphoses
  • The Major Works: including Astrophil and Stella (Oxford World's Classics)
Books can be attributed to "Unknown" when the author or editor (as applicable) is not known and cannot be discovered. If at all possible, list at least one actual author or editor for a book instead of using "Unknown".

Books whose authorship is purposefully withheld should be attributed instead to Anonymous.
More about Unknown...

Share This Book