Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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Both Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Franklin’s Tale are set in a world where the laws of nature and order are turned upside down through the use of magic. In this Medieval world, death is escaped, men have the ability to shapeshift, and the impossible becomes entirely possible. What the Christian God set as earthly law, magic, created by the devil himself, subverts into illogical manifestations. Through their works, the authors of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Franklin’s Tale portray magic and the devil, whose ultimate scheme is to separate humankind from the Christian God by, as being inextricably intertwined. In both texts, magic is used to engage a faithful vassal and/or Christian in a supernatural demonstration in order to incite doubt or fear, thus subverting the power of their lord and/or the Christian God and tricking the faithful into abandoning faith and virtue. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, magic is not only used to wreak havoc in King Arthur’s court, but used as an attempt to corrupt the morality and faith of King Arthur’s and God’s most loyal subject, Sir Gawain. In the text, Sir Gawain is characterized as the paragon of virtue and faith. According to the Pearl Poet,
“The fifth five I find the famous man practised
Were - Liberality and Lovingkindness leading the rest;
Then his Continence and Courtesy, which were never corrupted;
And Piety, the surpassing virtue. These pure five
Were more firmly fixed on that fine man
Than on any

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