This list runs the gamut from student college English papers to
full-blown academic ruminations on the question of whether Sir Gawain
and the Green Knight mocks/undermines the knightly code of chivalry.
Some, like this first one are not full texts, (this is true of many of
the papers listed in Google scholars) but full text can be accessed
for a price, or at a university/college library that subscribes to
such services as JSTOR.
The first page, the only one available here, makes this seem quite
revelant, so you may want to check it out.
A complete essay but more about the conflict between the code and the
individual's own sense of what is best.
Okay, maybe not the most august source, but intelligent: "It is
important to consider Gawain in light of the conventions of the
romance genre. All the characteristics of the romance are present,
however, closer examination suggests a questioning of the values of
chivalry and the typical romance. Does the poet really support these
values, even when he writes in the style of the romance? Is there a
not a greater irony to his description of conventional romance
elements, or to the way the events unfold in the poem."
A very useful list of articles on Sir Gawain, with links to full texts.
I thought this article from the #4 list was the most pertinent--"By
portraying Gawain as noble and honorable, the poet is able to shock
the audience with actions that are uncharacteristic of a chivalrous
knight"--but take a look at some of the other articles on the list
Not sure about this one but you may want to take a look. More about
the tale as one illustrating the conflict between the code and
A good one.
I don't know if you consider a blog to be a reputable source but this
blogger's observations are relevant and lucid.
A great title: "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Gawain: hero? wimp? prig? bore? ... ?"
This writer, in fact, sees an affirmation of the chivalric code in Sir
Gawain, but maybe her arguments will give you some material against
which to sharpen your own.
This looks quite good--"Any student of late medieval social history
can see the appropriateness of this borrowing, particularly with
regard to chivalry. This institution has long been recognized as a
beautiful fiction, producing a lovely, apotheosized version of the
self with the capability of camouflaging one's failings and the
uncertainties of life"--and maybe well worth the investment to read
the entire essay. Or maybe your library can give you access to it?
All the best,