Comparing Women In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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“For that noble princess pushed and pressed him” (Line 1770). This line from “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” suggests to readers that the woman of the story is dominant over Sir Gawain. This theme is unusual considering the time period it was written in. During this period, women were subordinate to their male counterparts. Men found women to be inferior to their own power. The theme of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” can be found in other Middle English poems as well. One particular work it is found in is Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Miller’s Tale”, a small piece from his infamous work “The Canterbury Tales”. This story exhibits the theme of a woman’s place in society. The two of these Middle English literary works suggests that women aren’t…show more content…
Instead she was just known as Bertilak’s wife. Her character is similar to Queen Guinevere as she is a beautiful young woman and a bit stereotypical being that she remains nameless throughout the story being tied to her husband’s name. In spite of her stereotypical name and beauty, she is a manipulative woman. Unlike Queen Guinevere, she doesn’t just quietly sit in the corner, she instead attempts to seduce Sir Gawain. She flirts with him in his bedroom, and after two attempts of seduction, she bares her naked neck and shows her true beauty to him. When that still doesn’t work, she tried to give him a golden ring. Still to no avail, she made up a story about her girdle. She said that it would help to keep you “safe against anyone who seeks to strike” (Line 1853). Her ability to understand what it is the Sir Gawain most craves allows her to have power over him. Since she was able to figure out what he yearned for most, he finally gave into her wishes. Unlike Queen Guinevere, Bertilak’s wife used her own abilities, cleverness, and was able to be more powerful than a man. She adds the theme that women are powerful and aren’t the weaker sex. However, Bertilak’s wife isn’t the most powerful woman of this…show more content…
He tells his tale out of order, skipping the person who was supposed to speak next because he was all too eager to tell his tale. His tale paints a picture of the stereotypical woman in a negative light. The woman in his tale is beautiful, smart, and holds power over all three men who love her. Readers can assume that the Miller’s tale is based off of his own life experience with women even though he doesn’t come out and say that it is. Alisoun, the main character, snuck around her husband to be with the younger, handsomer Nicholas as well as treat Absolon poorly. During the tale, she planned the affair with Nicholas, and planned on making Absolon kiss her butt, however she didn’t plan on her husband falling off the roof and hurting himself. “She was aware, and knew it better than he,” this line indicates that she, a woman, had known better than a man, and was in fact smarter than him (Line 496). Alisoun had the power to cause all of these events, even though they weren’t good things, she was capable of causing them indicating that she had more power than the average woman during her time period would ever have. This particular story showed a theme of a bad relationships between males and females. It also showed that women are capable of having power over men, thus adding to the theme that women aren’t the weaker

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