Of the many tales linked with Gawain, the nephew of King Arthur, few are more curious than those describing his birth and his career before joining the Round Table, for this stage in his life bears the unmistakable stamp of a more primitive concept of heroism than that ordinarily found in the medieval romances. The story of Gawain’s birth shares many characteristics with similar stories told of culture heroes from widely scattered lands, and, like these, belongs properly to the realm of mythology rather than romance. Although attempts have been made to aduapt the tale to the world of medieval romance, incongruous features remain, the most important of which is the mutual hostility that exists between Gawain and his uncle, King Arthur.