Social Class Distinction in Sir Gawain and the Green knight Essay

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“Sir Gawain and the Green knight” is a romantic Middle English poem written in the fourteenth century by an unknown author. This poem is a fairy-tale like story that gives its readers a glimpse into the social class system of Medieval England. This literary work opens with the famous King Arthur, a local bishop, and King Arthur’s knights enjoying a royal feast at Camelot during the Christmas season. This poem provides an accurate depiction of the feudal system of the middle ages. Within this tale are individuals representing the “pyramid of power” that symbolizes the social class system of Medieval England. This top of the pyramid group consists of royalty, clergy and noble knights. As this mythical poem begins readers are quickly …show more content…
“Sir Gawain and the Green knight” is a romantic Middle English poem written in the fourteenth century by an unknown author. This poem is a fairy-tale like story that gives its readers a glimpse into the social class system of Medieval England. This literary work opens with the famous King Arthur, a local bishop, and King Arthur’s knights enjoying a royal feast at Camelot during the Christmas season. This poem provides an accurate depiction of the feudal system of the middle ages. Within this tale are individuals representing the “pyramid of power” that symbolizes the social class system of Medieval England. This top of the pyramid group consists of royalty, clergy and noble knights. As this mythical poem begins readers are quickly introduced to the pinnacle of this “pyramid of power”, the king and queen. King Arthur and his “full beauteous” wife Queen Guinevere were “set in the midst, placed on the rich dais adorned all about” (Neilson 3). During this time, royal monarchs often hosted large illustrious gatherings in order to display their wealth, prestige and power. This display of rank is evident when the all powerful “King Arthur and the other knights watch approvingly as Sir Gawain advances” to take the place of his cherished king and accept the Green Knights challenge (Swanson 1). Randy Schiff further clarifies the difference between kings and knights in medieval times when he states, “ Displaying his mastery of courtly deference, Gawain in “Sir Gawain and the Green

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