The poem survived the Middle Ages in a single manuscript that was preserved because it fell into the hands of a book collector, Sir Robert Cotton, whose collections were later donated to the British Museum.
Posted by interestingliterature An interesting introduction to a medieval elegy Pearl is one of the jewels in the crown of medieval English poetry: Part-elegy, part dream-vision a popular kind of poem in medieval literature: Bateson speculated that the Black Death caused this sudden surge of creativity among English poets: The poem is narrated by the grieving parent of the lost child, who tells the reader of how he lost his pearl in a garden.
After he falls asleep, his spirit is transported to a bright and wonderful land. On the other side of the stream by which he stands, he sees a beautiful maiden, dressed in white a symbol of purity, of course and wearing pearls — the spirit form of his lost daughter.
Telling him that he should not grieve for her death, the maiden reminds the poet that though the earthly form dies, the spiritual form will be kept alive in heaven, thanks to the Lord.
Can this vision be trusted? What about the Virgin Mary, well-known Bride of Christ?
Everyone, the maiden answers, is a king or queen in heaven. In fact, the maiden tells our poet that she is but one of somebrides of Christ.
Through baptism, the innocent child — who did not have the chance to perform good deeds while on earth — can be saved. Where does she live with the Lamb and all his other brides? She leads him along the stream to the city known as the New Jerusalem, a twelve-gated city of light.
There the poet sees all of the other brides of the Lamb, also clad in white and wearing crowns, following the Lamb to his throne, where angels wait to sing of his greatness. So enchanted does our poet become by this vision that he wishes to cross the stream and join the maiden in the city of New Jerusalem, but at that point — he wakes up.
He is back in the garden where he fell asleep, reconciled to his grief now he knows that his daughter, his precious pearl, is in heaven with the Lord. That, in short, is what happens in the poem. What about its form and style?
The language used is a form of Middle English associated with the Midlands of England:A brief introduction to the poem’s plot (offered as a short summary below) and an analysis of the poems’ history, language, and themes, will help to open up this fantastic poem to the reader.
Composed in the late fourteenth century, Pearl was of the same period in English literary history as Gawain, Chaucer’s poetry, Langland’s Piers Plowman, and Gower’s Confessio Amantis. Indeed, medieval readers knew of Morgan’s role in the destined fall of Camelot, the perfect world depicted in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
The poem’s second frame is a historical one. The poem begins and ends with references to the myth of Britain’s lineage from the ancient city of Troy, by way of Britain’s Trojan founder, Brutus. The manuscript in which Sir Gawain and the Green Knight appears, known as Cotton Nero A.x., contains three other poems.
On the basis of their similarities in style, language, and theme, all four are believed to be by the same poet. Indeed, medieval readers knew of Morgan’s role in the destined fall of Camelot, the perfect world depicted in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
The poem’s second frame is a historical one. The poem begins and ends with references to the myth of Britain’s lineage from the ancient city of Troy, by way of Britain’s Trojan founder, Brutus. Love and the Creation Myth in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a great epic written in fourteenth century Europe by the Pearl poet, emphasizes the opposition of Christian love to Courtly love in the 13th century through the dilemma of Sir Gawain, one of the great knights of the Arthurian round table.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight follows a classic quest formula, with a knight receiving a challenge, going out on a journey to meet that challenge, and returni Poem Summary Sign In | Sign Up.