Theme Of Otherness In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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In literature the theme of “otherness” is considered to be something bad. The reason for such a belief is because “otherness” represents a character whose personal qualities go against the standards of society. In The tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and in Marie de France’s lai Lanval, the Green Knight and the Fairy Queen are two characters whose appearance, isolation, and values act in accordance with “otherness”. While the characters are the epitome of “otherness”, how they represent the theme conflicts with the ideas of what an “other” character is with what it is supposed to be.
In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Green Knight is described as an unusual yet fascinating sight in Arthur’s court. To start, the Green Knight is
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By putting Sir Gawain to the test, the Green Knight shows that Sir Gawain is not as honorable as he is considered to be. He also gives Sir Gawain the scar on his neck as a reminder of dishonor for not returning the green girdle and makes him keep the girdle as a symbol of his shame. While, there is sympathy for what Sir Gawain did, his actions showed that the values of chivalry and honor are not as ideal as they are considered to be. How the Green Knight affects the way Sir Gawain is viewed also questions just how the knights of the Round table live up to their reputations and how the culture that dominates those ideas within the poem affects the ideas of …show more content…
She seduces Lanval with sweet words such as “I love you more than anything” (De France 116) and conquers him with love and riches that he didn’t receive from Arthur and the other knights. The catch however is that Lanval must keep their affair a secret or she will never see him again and when he reveals the secret The Fairy Queen asserts her power by keeping her promise and leaving Lanval devastated and furious about his actions. Like the Green Knight, the Fairy Queen is also a mysterious, marginalized antagonist. However, a difference between the two characters is that The Fairy Queen is some sort of magical being, possibly from the world of “Avalun” (De France 641). Furthermore, she never reveals an identity or name and does not hold another persona. The Fairy Queen only appears in the first and last scenes of the story, but she only comes when Lanval needs her the

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