Sir Gawain And Lady Bertilak Analysis

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The female figures in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Queen Guinevere, Lady Bertilak, and Morgan le Fay, play an important role in the shaping of Sir Gawain’s destiny on his quest of his own beheading. This essay will discuss the most powerful female figure in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Lady Bertilak, and how her role in Sir Gawain’s quest to find the Green Knight shaped his destiny. Lady Bertilak isn’t introduced in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight until Sir Gawain is already on his quest to find the Green Chapel and the Green Knight to fulfill his destiny of getting his head severed off. She is a less confined woman compared to Queen Guinevere who sits on a thrown and appeases the eyes of her people. Lady Bertilak is described as…show more content…
She helps to bring Sir Gawain out of his good nobility as a knight. She, unlike Queen Guinevere, is both a confined and unconfined woman. She is a woman of high standing who holds herself upright in a respectable manner, which deems her confined. However, she also goes into a man’s bed-chamber by herself and starts wooing him with her sexual charm of “Blent white and red on cheek / And laughing lips apart” (Lines 1203-1204), while trying to coax Sir Gawain into kissing her. In the end, we find out that Bertilak is the Green Knight, and that he is the one who put his wife to the task of finding the flaw in the “faultless” knight (Line 2363). Even though Bertilak puts Lady Bertilak up to the task, she must figure out how to make herself appealing. When it is put out in the open about who the Green Knight really is and how he put his wife up to the task, and that it was Sir Gawain’s own aunt’s idea, Sir Gawain is a bit stunned. So much power and trust were given to a woman, with the notion that she would report all that happens in the bedroom: For this is my belt about you, that same braided…show more content…
Friedman. He writes that “The ancient lady of the castle, now revealed to be Morgan le Fay, was behind the whole adventure. She it was who had sent the Green Knight…to Arthur's court, her purpose being to test the renown of the Round Table and to frighten Guinevere to death” (Friedman260). This is proven when the Green Knight (Bertilak) tells Sir Gawain how all this came about. While this takes brains to perform such a horrific joke, and Morgan le Fay only puts the Bertilaks up to the mischief and is overseeing how everything goes, she still wasn’t the one to find Sir Gawain’s flaws. Also, Friedman argues that “Morgan, then...may have played some role in the story-complex from which Sir Gawain derives…but to concede Loomis's point helps us only by suggesting yet another reason for the poet's hitting upon Morgan…to extricate himself from his plot difficulty”

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