Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Enduring Love

The mystery of love has stumped men and women for ages. Literature, drama, and art have and will always try to understand courting, romance, and passion. So too do they want to understand what happens after love is gone: where it went and how it can ever be rekindled. While love is always shown from different angles, it's long-standing themes are static, consistent, and comforting for generations after who realize that they are grappling with the same heartache as artisans of the past. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a medieval poem, and Michael Drayton's Sonnet 61 ("Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part,") a poem from the Renaissance, exemplify how the same threads of love are woven through different time periods with different values and social mores. They particularly look at saying good-bye to a lover, either because of falling out of love (internally) or because of external factors. Sir Gawain and Green Knight and Sonnet 61 both suggest that one is always left with the imprint of past love even after love is gone, that two people who were in love always retain an attachment to their former lovers.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, written in the late fourteenth century, cannot be wholly...

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