By W. A. Davenport
Ranging from the idea taht 'Pearl', 'Purity', 'Patience' and 'Sir Gawain and the golf green knight' are by means of one poet, W.A. Davenport seeks to outline the character of his paintings. He makes an in depth research of every poem, contemplating the 4 no longer lots of their
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Extra resources for Art of the Gawain-poet: New Edition
The narrator's sleep is no haphazard drowsing/off, but a swoon caused by the stress of feeling; there is greater cause supplied to the reader for the vision to occur. At the end of the poem, similarly, it is excess of ecstatic joy and desire which brings the dreamer's dramatic leap into the river, which brings him ironically back into the current of life. Not until Skelton's The Botvge of Court does a poet again so effectively exploit the possibility for dramatic climax in the return to the waking world.
The actual entry into the dream in Pearl is presented as a leap too, a leap of the spirit from the earth and from the body into the world of adventure; the narrator, at once himself and yet only part of himself, is lost in an unknown place, where strange things happen: Fro spot my spyryt ther sprang in space; My body on balke ther bod in sweven. My goste is gon, in Godez grace, In aventure ther mervaylez meven. I ne wyste in this worlde quere that hit wace. (61-5) Pearl is one of the very few poems that really convey a sense of the difference between the place the Dreamer finds himself in and the one he has left.
The narrator himself and the process of narration have become completely fictionalised: there is 34 PEARL no sense of the experience of the poem and the composition of the poem as two separate events. The narrator's story, though still serving the function of the vision-poem's necessary frame, is itself the plot. This produces a curious relationship between what one may call the 'story* (of the father and the dead child) and the 'argument' (the ideas which the Dreamer has to have explained). When, in a work of art, narrative is subordinated to argument, we see an illustrax tive tale as a particular example of a general truth; the argument is wider than the story and is open to the considerations which one may bring to bear upon it from one's own beliefs and experience of the world.
Art of the Gawain-poet: New Edition by W. A. Davenport