The Middle English chivalric romance, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, uses a unique stanza pattern called the “Bob and Wheel.” This pattern consists of a short line, or “bob,” followed by longer lines that contain internal rhyming, known as “the wheel.” The poem tells the story of Sir Gawain, a knight of the Round Table, who accepts a challenge from the Green Knight.
The romance uses traditional alliterative poetry, combined with innovative features like the Bob and Wheel pattern. This pattern is an example of the blend of tradition and novelty present in the poem. The five-line section starts with the short line or bob, followed by the wheel that has internal rhyming longer lines.
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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was written in the late 14th century, and its author is unknown. However, the poem’s dialect and vocabulary suggest that the writer was from the north-west Midlands region of England. The only surviving manuscript of the poem is Cotton MS Nero A X, kept in the British Library. The text includes Old Norse words and forms, characteristic of the northern Middle English dialect.
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