Medieval Gender Roles In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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Gender Roles In Medieval and Renaissance literature, gender roles are perceived differently than they are currently. The notion of how women should act, how men should act, and feminism. In most of the texts we’ve read such as: “The Canterbury Tales”, The Faerie Queene, and “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, we are given an idea of the gender roles that are in place, and how the authors of these texts perceive them. The way women should behave according to the texts we have read is for them to be demure and chaste. Women are supposed to be well behaved in public and listen to their husbands demands. In The Faerie Queene, Spenser gives us two examples of chaste ladies, Una and Britomart. Una represents truth and honesty - although Archimago…show more content…
Men were expected to be chivalrous if not chaste. However, men were not expected to be perfect, and it seemed to be preferred if the weren’t. They were also expected to be polite and do as women please. Although, most of the examples of how men are supposed to act are shown through the actions of knights, who have their own codes. One example of how men were supposed to act is shown through Sir Gawain and his actions. Despite the fact that Gawain did take the girdle from Lady Bertilak and blamed her for his personal failings, he did wear the girdle for the rest of his life in penance and eventually took responsibility for his failing. This also relates to Gawain’s Five Fives. Another example of how men were expected to behave can be shown through the actions of the Red Cross Knight. Although Red Cross Knight is prideful and somewhat easily mislead, he encompasses attributes that men are supposed to have. Red Cross Knight is chivalrous, humble, and brave. All of which are seen as he rejects the false Una and saves Duessa, wears another’s armor, and how he leaps into possibly fatal battles all for his good cause. Each of these men along with their other qualities had an amazing amount of faith in God, which seemed to be a bit of requirement in order for you to be the perfect man. And men like Nicholas in The Miller's Tale, who didn’t have faith in god

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