Category Archives: Sir Gawain Poet

Gawain, Trump and Shame

Trump and Sir Gawain respond in opposite ways to shame: Trump counterattacks by acting shamelessly while Gawain lets it tie him into knots.

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Green Knight’s Lessons for Doctors

An essay I received on “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” from a pre-med student has me thinking of the poem’s useful lessons for doctors. There are several.

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Sir Gawain and Celtic Spirituality

“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” may represent the clash between two strains of Christianity which today we describe as Dominionism and Green Christianity. The 14th century poem definitely comes down on the green side.

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Puck’s Summer Magic

“Midsummer Night’s Dream” dips into ancient British legends about the mystical aspects of midsummer.

Also posted in Kipling (Rudyard), Nesbitt (E.), Shakespeare (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Fantasy Saves Our Souls

Great fantasy can always be seen as oppositional, pushing against prevailing modes of thought and opening up portals into new human possibilities.

Also posted in Cervantes (Miguel de), Erdrich (Louise), Euripides, Tolkien (J.R.R.) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hoping against Hope in the Face of Death

Following philosopher Adrienne Martin, I meditate on what it means to “hope against hope” or to have “unimaginable hope.” The texts I use are “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” “Beowulf,” and “Wizard of Earthsea.”

Also posted in Beowulf Poet, LeGuin (Ursula K.) | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Peace of Wild Things

My Intro to Literature class explored how a disconnect from nature leads to existential anguish while opening themselves up to nature provides spiritual nourishment.

Also posted in Berry (Wendell), Clifton (Lucille), Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Euripides, Kingsolver (Barbara), McCarthy (Cormac), Oliver (Mary), Shakespeare (William), Silko (Leslie Marmon), Wordsworth (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Connecting Art to Life

In a lovely introduction to a reading I gave the other night, my son Toby examined the value of the liberal arts.

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10 Famous Fetish Objects in Lit

Literature is filled with fetish objects that take on outsized significance to various characters.

Also posted in Dickens (Charles), Fielding (Henry), Poe (Edgar Allan), Pope (Alexander), Proust (Marcel), Rushdie (Salman), Shakespeare (William), Wycherley (William) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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