The ideas behind The Lord of the Rings come from many literary sources, all of which were familiar to a classically educated English man living during the first part of the twentieth century. One of those sources was the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Even today, these stories play an important role in modern entertainment, as the number of related movies, television shows, and books demonstrates. A basic understanding of the legends of King Arthur helps to properly understand some of the concepts in The Lord of the Rings. In this unit, you will examine the basic Arthurian story and explore in depth the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a Middle English poem translated by J.R.R. Tolkien.