Women In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a late fourteenth century Arthurian Romance Poem. During the time of Sir Gawain, society was dominated by males with women receiving little power. Women were treated with chivalry, but not respected as beings of their own rights. Knights were prided in having the code of chivalry yet were under the assumption woman could not attain much for themselves. However, parts of the text show how woman have the ability to fulfill their needs as they desire. Lady Bertilak and Morgan le Fay are two prime examples of these woman. While the poem contains many female references and depictions of women, we never truly go in depth about the positions of the women in this poem, who live concealed under their male-adapted…show more content…
Her temptations are not on Lord Bertilak, but instead on Gawain. During Gawain’s stay at Lord Bertilak’s castle, Lady Bertilak manipulates Gawain into kissing her each morning by playing the role of chivalry against him, and every night Gawain would give the kisses back to Lord Bertilak. On the final day, Lady Bertilak is the most alluring and demands a token of love, but Gawain states that he has nothing to give. This is when Lady Bertilak offers Gawain her green girdle which she claims has the capabilities to protect the man who wears it from death. Tempted by the chance of protecting himself from the Green Knight, Gawain takes the girdle and does not give it back to Lord Bertilak that night. In her inquiry to deprive Gawain of his honor, Lady Bertilak uses what he desires against him. Regardless that she has been instructed to do this by her own husband, she still is able to influence Gawain and cause some discomfort. After the Green Knight exposes himself to Gawain as Lord Bertilak, he explains how he sent his wife to go into Gawain’s room while he was out and seduce and try to sleep with him. Gawain, after learning about all of this, begins to go into a type of “anti-female” speech with an expression of anger. Here Gawain
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