Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

1826 WordsSep 29, 20168 Pages
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale present dynamic views of the “art of love” in medieval times. In Sir Gawain, the “love” between Sir Gawain and Lady Bertilak at first appears to be genuine; however, we learn that both characters were using each other guided by ulterior motives. Lady Bertilak jabs at Gawain’s masculinity in order to achieve her goal. The Wife of Bath’s Prologue questions the meaning of love while the narrator discusses her own experience to portray the relationship between husband and wife. She also displays different views of the “art of love” that contrast with each other; the Tale as well poses the question of whether love or marriage between two people can ever be equal. In the poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the encounters between Sir Gawain and Lady Bertilak depict ways in which the “art of love” can involve trickery. In Sir Gawain’s initial interaction with Lady Bertilak and the old lady, who is later exposed as Morgan le Faye, he greets them with respect, “[he] quickly offers to serve them unswervingly should they say the word.” (SG, ls. 975-76). Here he shows his “troth,” or loyalty to the women to uphold his chivalric values, establishing a hierarchy of power. Lady Bertilak and Morgan le Faye, at the top of the hierarchy, want to exploit Sir Gawain in order to carry out their master plan of humiliating him and the Arthurian court. When the Lady enters Sir Gawain’s bedroom the next morning, she uses her

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