Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Women Analysis

1800 Words 7 Pages
None of the women in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight have any sort of agency. In order for agency to exist, it must be seen and also validated. To be seen means that the woman is visualized actually doing something. She talks, moves, and influences events. To be validated means that the women’s actions/words/influences are recognized, or at the very least, not demeaned. Guinevere is neither seen nor validated, the Lady is only seen, and Morgan le Fay is spoken about, but she is not validated. Under the terms of this definition, none of the women in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight have agency. Guinevere is the only public female figure in the poem, but she only gets to be a public figure because she does nothing that is controversial. And she does nothing that is controversial because she never speaks. She is a beautiful figure piece, mentioned twice just for being seated in relation to more important characters. First, in her relation to the King, and then when “good Sir Gawain is seated by …show more content…
Every other character is given a name. Guinevere never speaks, and Morgan Le Fay is never seen doing anything, but they both get names. Through being referred to only as Lady Bertilak, she is objectified. When she first sees Gawain, she “[desires] to see this stranger” and comes “from her closet with her sisterly crew”. However, while she is eventually introduced to Gawain, she remains a stranger. During their first morning together, she says, “because I know your name-the knight Sir Gawain.” Gawain, through his name, is known throughout and past Camelot. But without a name, Lady Bertilak cannot be truly known. Since she remains just Lady, she can be referred to in the possessive sense. Lord Bertilak admits that, “the wowying of my wyf; I wroght hit myselven.” Since she has no name, the only way she can be referred to is as “my wyf” or “my lady”. That word choice gives the other characters ownership over

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