Comparing Women In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

Decent Essays

The women in Le Morte d’Arthur and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, were part to blame for knights breaking the code of chivalry. Knights in these stories broke the code of chivalry by treating women in a poor manner, not obeying their lieges, and keeping secrets from their kin. The code of chivalry was an honorable code followed by knights in which they had to respect women, obey their liege, and show bravery in battle. Sometimes the women tried to tempt the knights, resulting in affairs. Sometimes these women try to exploit a knights chivalry. The women in these stories had an influence that steered knights into breaking the code of chivalry that caused some battles and knightly dishonors. In Le Morte d’Arthur, Gwynevere, who was the wife …show more content…

In this story, Sir Gawain is a very respected knight of King Arthur’s and volunteers to take the Green Knight's challenge in King Arthur’s place. The Green Knight's challenge was for anyone to come forward and cut his head off with his own ax. In one year and one day the Green Knight would return the favor. Already Sir Gawain is showing to be a respected and noble knight who follows the code well. It is getting close to the time when Sir Gawain needs to meet up with the Green Knight to honor his challenge. Then, Sir Gawain stumbles upon a castle, and the lord there lets him stay for a couple of nights. The lord of the manor goes hunting every day and at the end of the day, him and Sir Gawain will trade what they have won. The lady of the manor tries to get into bed with Sir Gawain every morning, but he resists because he knows it's wrong and dishonest. Then she offers him a gold ring, which he also doesn't take. “I cannot accept these gifts, for I have nothing to give in return” (Sir Gawain 204). The queen is tempting Sir Gawain to take these gifts and he follows the code and rejects them respectfully, as a knight should. The queen gives him a kiss, and that is what he shares with the king at the end of every day, as he was instructed and promised to do. Next, Sir Gawain gets offered a green sash that is given to him by the queen that …show more content…

The code of chivalry is an expectation that knights will protect their lords, have courage in battle and respect women (Beck 365). The aftermath of the affair between Sir Launcelot and Queen Gwynevere ended in the loss of two great knights and a war that sparked more conflict. That was all brought on because Queen Gwynevere wasn't faithful to her husband, King Arthur. Sir Lancelot's love for Queen Gwynevere is the reason he broke the code of chivalry. The lady of the manor repeatedly tempted Sir Gawain with riches, and he passed, except when she offered a sash that would save his life. When he took the sash, that was the moment that he failed the test of the Green Knight and the dishonored the code of chivalry. The women in these two stories may not have been one hundred percent responsible for the knights breaking the code of chivalry, but in the long run caused much worse events than the breaking of the code of

Get Access