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Starting frmo the assumption that Pearl, Puriry, Patience and Sir Gawain and thg Green Knight are by one poet, W.A. Davenport seeks to define the nature of his art. He makes a close analysis of each poem, considering the four t so much in their historical context as for their immediate poetic effect. The poet had a flair for vivid pictures and dramatic situations, and found intellectual delight in pattern; the combination of these qualities provides much of the enjoyment of the poems, the conflict between them some uncertainty and complexity. The four works were shaped by a man of subtle mind, who was interested t only in the narrative and descriptive opportunities of his material, but also in exploring its ecquivocal nature. Many of the problems experienced by readers in interpreting the poems, and the wide variety of interpretations offered for Sir Gawain in particular, are shown to stem from the poet's complex view of moral questions. W.A. Davenport is Senior Lecturer in English at Royal Holloway College, University of London.
W.A. Davenport is Senior Lecturer in English at Royal Holloway College, Univeristy of London