Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – World Poets
Venue: Cafe Sladers, West Bay Road, West Bay, Bridport, Dorset DT6 4EL
When a huge stranger enters the main hall in Camelot during a banquet and invites any of the assembly there to take a single swipe at him with his own axe, in return for a similar swipe at them in the future, he has no volunteers.
Gawain finally accepts the challenge because, he says, he is the youngest and so his life was the least indispensable of all those present. The Knight bows his neck, Gawain raises the axe and decapitates the Knight with his single blow; whereupon the Knight picks up his head, confirms a return meeting with Gawain a year and a day from thence, tucks his head under his arm, re-mounts his horse, and rides off into the murk.
Aye, and what then? How the story, the intricate plot, opens up from then on is at the heart of this poem’s unique
edge-of-seat, extraordinarily modern brilliance.
An adventure like no other, the poetry and narrative drama are wonderful, and you end up having drunk to the dregs an inspiring poetic lesson in how to face the future and not be disabled by fear of the morrow.
Tickets £12.50 or £30 with dinner from 5.30/6 pm
Top picture: Guinevere and the Court at Camelot, Raimund von Wichera (1862-1925)
Lower picture: Illustration showing the Green Knight holding up his decapitated head, from the manuscript of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight held at the British Library in London (Cotton Nero MS A.x)