Sexuality In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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“Lanval” by Marie de France and the Pearl Poet’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight both tell the tales of two knights caught in potentially fatal predicaments. The Medieval works share many similarities within the characters and thematic elements each story contains. Perhaps the most interesting similarity is the depiction of sexuality and seduction that takes place between the knights and the wives of the two kings. Along with the heterosexual exchanges, there are unobscured statements and actions that point toward homosexuality. For instance, in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as well as, “Lanval” Gawain and Lanval are repeatedly subjected towards a Queen’s advances of lust and desire, though under different circumstances. Furthermore, the two knights have to…show more content…
For example, both “Lanval” and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, mention or explore the taboo concept of homosexuality, and its consequences in the Medieval world. The authors also present the two knights being tempted by the wives of powerful rulers, testing their chivalrous moral standing and their loyalty to the men they serve. In doing so, the women of the stories are seemingly vilified, as they act as the deceitful antagonists to men, the Pearl Poet even goes as far to list similar women from the Bible that acted similar. “Lanval” and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight both speak of and describe human sexaulity in a similar and interesting manner. In one instance, Sir Gawain’s homoerotic encounters with Bertilak display a surprising level of openness regarding homosexual behaviour, and in the other, the faerie queen’s sexual freedom reveals a seemingly repressed side of Medieval culture. The combined elements of their expressive viewpoints on erotic behaviors provides a unique perspective of two author’s thoughts on English society and sexual culture during the Middle
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