The Chaucer Review: An Indexed Bibliography (Vols. 1-30)Return to the Subject List
O'Mara, Philip F. "Holcot 'Ecumenism' and the Pearl-Poet." 27 (1992): 97-106. (The title in the table of contents for that issue is "Robert Holcot's 'Ecumenism' and the Green Knight, Part II.")
The Pearl-Poet presents the Green Knight in such a way that he evokes a number of principles from Holcot's Moralitates. The preponderance of such occurrences and evidence surrounding the poem suggest that the Pearl-Poet knew Holcot personally. Certainly the Pearl-Poet's views make him likely to accept without question the story presented in St. Erkenwald.
O'Mara, Philip F. "Robert Holcot's 'Ecumenism' and the Green Knight." 26 (1992): 329-42.
Holcot's works and theology deeply affect the works of the Pearl-Poet. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight contains both piety and revels and is built around paradoxical characters and events. Though Bercilak is a pagan, the poet seems to suggest that he is "in the way of salvation" (333). Holcot and other fourteenth-century theologians argued about how good deeds related to the salvation of the unsaved. Holcot believed that God could grant salvation to someone who was not baptized as did mystics like Walter Hilton and Julian of Norwich who held similar and sometimes stronger views of God's love. Both Patience and Pearl deal with salvation of the unsaved or the untaught, as does St. Erkenwald, another poem of the alliterative revival.
Stouck, Mary-Ann. "'Mournynge and myrthe' in the Alliterative St. Erkenwald." 10 (1976): 243-54.
The writer of St. Erkenwald does not follow the traditional pattern for a saint's life by relating only one of Erkenwald's experiences and portraying him as possessing faith and love as opposed to the traditional inability to feel pain. Thus, the author presents a more human picture of a saint. The contrast between joy and sorrow which appears at the ending of the tale presents the difference between heavenly and earthly perspectives.