Essay about A Comparison of Arthurian Legend in Various Stories

960 Words Dec 24th, 2010 4 Pages
Michelle Feddema
Mr. Nielsen
Friday November 19, 2010
A Comparison of Arthurian Legend in Various Stories

Arthurian legend was a genre many writers used in Chaucer’s day. It is a story made of romances, heroism, and ballads mostly about Arthur’s chief knight Sir Gawain who was mainly a man of social and ethical virtue. Often time’s Arthurian legend is a story of a knight who fights the bad guy, learns a lesson, saves the day and get’s the girl. Although sometimes the knight may start off as the bad guy as he did in one of Chaucer’s famous tales “The Wife of Bath.” Although Arthurian legend was used in many stories of that time, often the details were changed around to make the story unique but all in all kept the same idea
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A young lustful knight rapes a young maiden one day in Arthur’s courts and is threatened to be put to death. The queen offer’s him a second chance by offering a challenge. The challenges was that he was given a year to figure out what women truly want from their husbands and come back and present his findings. A year pasts and he doesn’t find his answer. As he’s heading back to Arthur’s court to face certain death he meets an old hag. This old hag makes a deal with him that she will give him his answer and help him if he pledges himself to her. He agrees and heads back to the courts and presents his answer. When his life is saved the old hag comes up and asks the knight to marry him. Of course he is forced to say yes and on their wedding night the old hag finds him rather upset with the whole situation. She then offers him another deal. She gave him the choice to pick between having an unfaithful but young and beautiful wife, or a faithful and true older, uglier wife. The knight tells the old hag she can choose and when he says this, she turns into a young beautiful woman and promises to always stay truthful to him because he rendered himself to her. This is another story presented with a situation that would never be able to happen in real life. The question raised is why these authors would add these supernatural stories into their literature when their audience was clearly protestant. I think that these
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