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Sir Gawain

wants agravain not to tell arthur about lancelot's treason

Sir Mordred

arthur kills him

King Arthur

married to Guinevere, Gawain's uncle


married to arthur, sleeps with lancelot and is put to death

Sir Lancelot

greatest and gentlest of all the knights, tight with arthur and commits adultery with guinevere


arthur's sword, bedivere throws it in the water


arthur lands here with his troops, mordred meets arthur in battle here

sir bedivere

throws excalibur in the water

sir lucas the butler

tries to move arthur to safety, his intestines burn through his stomach


magical place of healing, arthur says he is going here


the crowning takes place here


arthur's capital city, mordred lives here while arthur is away

sir agravain

tells arthur that lancelot has been sleeping with guinevere


Speaker: Exiled Viking soldier who has nowhere to or any person who will support him. In the end, he believes that men who seem to be unhappy are those who do not follow God, and the ones that are happy are God's most faithful. This speaker see's God as his rock, and foundation.




has caesura in every line that forms a kind of beat


repetition of the word "one" emphasizes loneliness


Introduction and Conclusion are Christian


speaker has to do with fate


Emotional because his lord died --> he is looking for a new lord


Death --> negative


an exile by choice, because he chose life as a sailor, which cuts him off from all human relationships


personification of the soul and death




Summer= landlovers "ignorant ease"="weakest"- the meek shall inherit the earth (Christian)


sea is his vocation


death-positive (go to heaven)


Protagonist; Hero of the Geats


Monster descended from Cain. Plagues King Hrothgar's Mead Hall

King Hrothgar

King of the Danes. Grendel terrorizes his mead hall every night

Grendel's mom

Second monster Beowulf fights. Unnamed swamp-hag

The language of the play

Old English

Why is the story of Beowulf important?

First story written in a version of English.

Grendel's severed arm

Torn from him by Beowulf in their first match. Hung as a trophy over the mead hall door.

The Fire Dragon

Third and final monster Beowulf fights

The Host (Harry Bailey)

The owner of the Tabard Inn, who volunteers to travel with the pilgrims. He promises to keep everyone happy, be their guide and arbiter in disputes, and judge the tales.

The Knight

Socially the most prominent person on the pilgrimage, epitomizing chivalry, truth, and honor. He stands apart from the other pilgrims because of his dignity and status.

The Miller

A drunken, brash, and vulgar man who rudely interrupts the Host, demands that his tale be next, and warns everyone that his tale about a carpenter will be vulgar because it is true.

The Reeve

A very old and irritable man who was once a carpenter. He resents the Miller's tale about a stupid old carpenter.

The Man of Law (or Sergeant of Law)

A lawyer and one of the high justices of the court. He is cautious, suspicious, and wise, and one of the more cultivated men among the pilgrims.

The Cook

Known for his cooking and characterized by a chancre sore that runs with pus. His story is incomplete.

The Wife of Bath (Alisoun)

Characterized as gat-toothed, somewhat deaf, and wearing bright scarlet red stockings. She has had five husbands (the last half her age), enjoys her freedom, and is openly sensual.

Hubert, the Friar

A sensual, licentious man who seduces young girls and then arranges their marriages. He loves money and knows the taverns better than the poor houses.

The Summoner

An officer of the church who calls people for a church trial. He is as ugly as his profession; he frightens children with his red complexion, pimples and boils, and skin infected with scales.

The Clerk

A sincere, devout student at Oxford University who loves learning and is respected by all the pilgrims. He is very poor because he spends all his money on books.

The Merchant

A shrewd and intelligent man who knows how to strike a good bargain and is a member of the rich rising middle class.

The Squire

A vain, lusty young man and a candidate for knighthood. He can sing, write poetry, and ride a horse very well, and considers himself a lady's man.

The Franklin

A large and wealthy landowner who enjoys fine living and good companionship.

The Shipman

A huge, uncouth man who can steer a ship but flounders on his horse.

The Prioress (Madame Eglantine)

A very genteel lady who is coy and delicate. She has precise manners, eats as an aristocrat would, and wears a gold brooch with "Love conquers all" inscribed in Latin.

The Physician

A doctor who can speak knowingly of medicines, drugs, and humours, and who knows astrology as well. He is fond of gold and makes a lot of money during the plague season.

The Pardoner

The most complex of all the pilgrims. He is an intellect and uses advanced psychological means to gain his objective. Although he is not a good person, he can preach a good sermon.

The Monk

A man who tends the property of the monastery. He is fat and happy, loves good food and wine, and finds the taverns more to his liking than the cold, severe monastery.

The Nun's Priest

The priest of the church who accompanies the nuns so that they may offer up their confessions.

The Second Nun

A very devout nun who, because she believes that idleness leads to sin, begins her story immediately.

The Canon and the Canon's Yeoman

Although not one of the pilgrims, the Canon appears with his servant (the Yeoman) but leaves when his Yeoman begins a tale.

The Manciple

The steward for a law school. Although not as intelligent as the law students, he is clever and shrewd enough to be able to put away some money for himself.

The Parson

A very poor but very holy and virtuous religious man who tells a highly moral tale. He gives his scant money to his poor parishioners and tries to live the perfect life and set an ideal for others.

Jankyn ("Johnny")

The Wife of Bath's fifth husband, who caused her trouble and had to be tamed into submission.

The Three Rioters

Drunken revelers who decide to find Death and slay him.


Sells Papal pardons to sinners; Reveals his own corruption; ends up asking to travelers to pay him for pardons; Host confronts him; yellow hair; tells the pardoner's tale

greed is the root of all evil

One of the main themes of the Pardoner's Tale

8 bushels of gold coins

the three men try to find Death under an oak tree but instead find...

youngest man

goes to town to fetch bread and wine; poisons other two


extravagant exaggeration


Real lizard monster that attacked Tokyo 1964; he is not a pillow pet

Italian Sonnet (Petrarchian)

14 lines composed of 1 octave (ABBA ABBA) and 1 sestet (CD CD CD or CDE CDE); octet has the problem that the sestet solves

Shakespearean sonnet

a sonnet consisting three quatrains and a concluding couplet in iambic pentameter with the rhyme pattern abab cdcd efef gg; 14 lines

*1. Read it* 2. Symbols? 3. Special words? 4. Substitute your new findings and read again

Steps to understanding a poem:

Edmund Spenser

wrote The Faerie Queene and the Shepheardes Calendar

Ben Jonson

English dramatist and poet who was the first real poet laureate of England (1572-1637); wrote Volpone, the alchemist, and on my first son

John Milton

Puritan writer, theologian, and political thinker. He wrote Areopagitica, Lycidas, and Paradise Lost, the last one which he wrote while blind - skill

Elizabeth I

Queen of England from 1558 to 1603, influenced much of the literature we read

Gunpowder Plot

a conspiracy in 1605 in England to blow up James I and the Houses of Parliament to avenge the persecution of Catholics in England

William Shakespeare

English poet and dramatist considered one of the greatest English writers (1564-1616), wrote many sonnet which were based upon love, life, and God


(Roman Catholic Church) English monk and scholar (672-735)


A device employed in Anglo-Saxon poetry in which the name of a thing is replaced by one of its functions or qualities, as in "ring-giver" for king and "whale-road" for ocean.


a break or pause (usually for sense) in the middle of a verse line


use of the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a line of verse


the medieval principles of knighthood

iambic pentameter

a poetic meter that is made up of 5 stressed syllables each followed by an unstressed syllable

South Africa

Home of Morgan Freeman's wanna-be ==> Nelson Mandela

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