Discuss the Relationship Between Appearance and Reality and the Issues This Involves in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and ‘the Franklin’s Tale’.

2721 Words May 7th, 2012 11 Pages
Discuss the relationship between appearance and reality and the issues this involves in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and ‘The Franklin’s Tale’.

Judging a Book by its Cover

The appearance of a situation, person or place may sometimes be at total odds with its actual reality, and thus change previous conceptions held of a thing or person. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Chaucer’s The Franklin’s Tale, not only are there illusions throughout the tale’s themselves, but the reality of the story and its message on conclusion paint a very different picture to the initial idea the reader held at the onset. Sir Gawain and the Green knight is believed to be the creation of an anonymous West Midlands poet of the late 14th century. A
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Per pe falssyng, foule mot hit falle!...Now am I fawty and falce, and ferde haf ben euer / Of trecherye and vntrawpe—bope bityde sorze / and care! / I biknowe yow, knyzt, here style, / Al fawty is my fare;”(2375-78, 2382-86). The tale no longer has the appearance of a conventional romance and the audience becomes aware of this reality with the process of Sir Gawain’s humanization.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a complex narrative abundant in trickery, almost every character and setting is not what it seems. Along with Sir Gawain, the Green Knight and the Green Girdle are possibly the most symbolic of deceiving appearances. The court of King Arthur is silenced by the arrival of the Green Knight due to fear “Forpi for fantoum and fayryze pe folk pere hit demed. / Perfore to answare watz arze mony apel freke,” (240-41) despite the fact the stranger is the chivalrous and cheerful Bertilak de Hautdesert and comes in peace symbolized by the holy branch “Ze may be seker bi pis braunch pat I bere here / Pat I passé as in pes, and no plyzt seche” (265-66). The host’s wife deceives Sir Gawain into believing the Green Girdle possess magical properties which can protect

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