The aim of the present series of York Medieval Texts is to provide editions of major pieces of Middle English writing in a form which will make them accessible without loss of historical authenticity. Texts are chosen because of their importance and artistic merit, and individual volumes may contain a single work, coherent extracts from a longer work, or representative examples of a genre. The principle governing the presentation of the text is to preserve the character of the English while eliminating unnecessary encumbrances such as obsolete letters and manuscript errors. Glossary and explanatory notes operate together to clarify the text; special attention is paid to the interpretation of passages which are syntactically rather than lexically difficult. The introduction to each volume, like the rest of the apparatus, is designed to set the work in its proper literary context. The intention of the series is exclusively literary: the Editors hope to attract a wider audience not only for works within the accepted literary canon, but also for those which have until now been regarded as 'specialist' in appeal, or which have been presented as if they were. This volume adds to the series the complete text of a poem which, although an acknowledged masterpiece of medieval literature, makes abnormal demands upon the reader by reason of its subtle exploitation both of a difficult dialect of Middle English and of the special idiom of alliterative verse. There is no short cut through the difficulties - they are the poem itself - but the present edition is designed to enable the modern reader, and in particular the university student, to reach a sensitive first-hand understanding of the text asthe only basis for valid literary judgement. The introduction deals directly with the poems stylistic qualities and moral content. In conjunction with the select bibliography it describes the relevant Gawain-criticism of the pWaldron, R. A. is the author of 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight' with ISBN 9780810103283 and ISBN 0810103281.