Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo
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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo

by J. R. R. Tolkien, unknown author
Release date: 1975
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy

Translated by J. R. R. Tolkien. Edited by Christopher Tolkien.

Note! There are several different other translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Pearl are two poems by an unknown author written in about 1400. Sir Gawain is a romance, a fairy-tale for adults, full of life and colour; but it is also much more than this, being at the same time a powerful moral tale which examines religious and social values.

Pearl is apparently an elegy on the death of a child, a poem pervaded with a sense of great personal loss: but, like Gawain it is also a sophisticated and moving debate on much less tangible matters.

Sir Orfeo is a slighter romance, belonging to an earlier and different tradition. It was a special favourite of Tolkien's. The three translations represent the complete rhyme and alliterative schemes of the originals.

updated 2014-02-25

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