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The Popular Medieval Romance, Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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The popular medieval romance, “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” explores many aspects of the Arthurian legend, including chivalry, religion, and courtly love. Although the poem does feature many female characters, one aspect that the Gawain poet does not touch upon is the role and place of women in this feudal society; all of whom live under the objectification of a male driven culture. One might say that the women featured in this romance are focused on more heavily than that of other literature during this time period and that might be true; however, after a closer look the reader can see how it’s the little things that the Gawain poet does or doesn’t do that diminish the importance of the four main female characters in this poem. The first women referenced in the text is Guinevere. She was “… gloriously framed at her place on the platform, pricelessly curtained by silk to each side, and canopied across with tasteful tapestries… studded with stones and stunning gems… but not one stone outshone the quartz of the queen’s eyes; with hand on heart, no one could argue otherwise” (lines 74-84). After reading this sensual and graceful description, it can be assumed that Guinevere is an incredibly beautiful woman, which places her on a dais while at the same time objectifies her for her beauty. Her involvement in the story revolves around her physical appearance which solidifies the Gawain poet’s intent to show Guinevere as a submissive observer rather than an active member of
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