Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essays

736 Words Dec 4th, 2015 3 Pages
In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, strange events occur in which heads are severed and a green knight travels on a green horse. These abnormal occurrences display what appears to be a major clash between Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, but these two men are only pawns in a larger conflict between the women Morgan la Fay and Queen Guenevere. Morgan la Fay manipulates the Lord Bercilak to assume the role of the Green Knight, and she uses him for revenge against Queen Guenevere. She engineered a plan in which she hoped “to cow…Queen Guenevere, [and] kill her with dread” (2460). In other words, she intended on frightening the queen by making her witness Sir Gawain severe the head of a green man, while the man remains alive and proceeds to pick up his detached extremity. The author never reveals the queen’s reaction. Although, King Arthur does address “his courteous queen in speech of the court: / ‘Dear dame, never let this day’s doings dismay you.’” (469-470). One could assume by his speech that the queen became unsettled by the crude event that had just occurred as he feels the need to comfort his wife. The author leaves broader context out of the poem. It seems there is no particular reason for Morgan la Fay to wish such a fright on Queen Guenevere. However, a bit of background information proves that Guenevere had put an end to an affair that Morgan la Fay was pursuing with Guenevere’s cousin, and this motivated Morgan la Fay’s evil actions.

Much of the chivalric code…

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