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How Feudalism Played A Major Role With State And The Government

Decent Essays
Zachary Hayes
British Literature I
Dr. Dunnum
10/23/15
“In a feudal system, a peasant or worker known as a vassal received a piece of land in return for serving a lord or king, especially during times of war.” (Feudal System) During the Middle Ages and other parts of modern Europe, through texts, we can see how feudalism played a major role with state and the government. Kings looked at it as “higher authority” and have more control over the knights, nobles, and peasants that lie within that system. Though kings have more of a physical control throughout these texts, I believe the queens have more manipulative power. In Marie de France’s short story, “Lanval”, it is obvious that the state was in control of many lives. Throughout the
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Later in the story, the reader experiences the power of the queen when Lanval denies her offer to love him.
“The Queen saw him go off alone, And she headed straight for that knight. She sat near him, she called him over,
She spoke as her heart would move her:
‘Lanval, I really do respect you,
I really care, I really love,
And you can have all my love.” (“France” 393-399)

The queen began to accuse Lanval of being gay because he had never had a woman show him pleasure. Suddenly, Lanval admits that he is in love with someone else who would be far better than the queen herself, which sent the queen away crying. Soon afterwards, Lanval was commanded to appear in court without delay. The Queen’s assertive power was shown by her ability to punish innocent people, meaning she obviously got what she wanted regardless of whether it was right or not. The negative characteristics of the king are shown in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”. The descriptions the author uses to describe King Author and the descriptions used at the end of the story to describe the positive characteristics of Bertilak de Hautdesert. King Authur represents the king of the time period, while Bertilak represents the proper traits of a king. King Arthur embarrasses himself when neither he nor anyone else in the court are willing to accept the “green knight’s” challenge. Kings during the
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