5 May 2017

The article “Medieval Misogyny and Gawain’s Outburst against Women in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” by Gerald Morgan argues that there is proof that woman are blatantly accused of causing the knight to almost fail his quest and that men are placed higher above women. As a reader of both the article and the story, I find that this article does express a correct dea.

The lady in question turns out to be the wife of the Green Knight, who actually goes by the name of Bertilak de Hautdesert. In the story, Sir Gawain is seeking refuge in the castle belonging to a mysterious nobleman. The man strikes up a deal with Gawain stating that they will trade every night for whatever the other gains throughout the day. While the husband goes out for the hunt, Gawain is confronted by the noble lady. He notices her “white and red mingling in her lovely face” and her “slender laughing lips.

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At this moment, Sir Gawain appears to be subject to her every command. This is indicating that it is her fault that he stayed in bed, instead of rising like he intended on doing. Instead of performing the tasks he intended on, he felt the need to stay to entertain the woman who was so insistent on seeing him at his bedside. In Morgans article, he goes into detail about how knights and noblewomen have futures that are intertwined. The knight must fght for the lady, thus showing that woman cannot fend for themselves and are treated like objects.

In the story, there re some slight indications that this is in fact the authors view on the topic. Every day, Sir Gawain gives the objects that he received throughout the day to the Lord of the house. In this situation, that happens to be the woman’s kisses. Since he is turning her kisses into a tangible object that you would give someone, I can understand the thinking that this story has misogynistic traits. The kisses being represented as objects can hint that woman in general are being treated as such.

Throughout the story, Sir Gawain rationalizes the woman’s thoughts and actions. When she first enters upon his room, he is confused as to why she is there, but decides that she is innocent and eager, as described in the story and in the article. I believe that this thought indicates that the author believes that men are above woman. For him to assume she is “innocent,” he must be looking down upon her, thinking that she is Just lost or confused. He does not believe she has intentions because he believes that she would not be able to think of such a thing.

It is similar to modern day, how men assume all blondes are “ditzy. ” This type of thinking is isogynistic and gives a false sense of empowerment in men. “l have wanted to learn from you, sir,’ the noble lady said. ” This line, spoken by the woman of the household, leads me to believe that both Sir Gawain and this woman’s behavior was misogynistic. The woman purposefully acted lowly, and Sir Gawain accepted her for how she was. He did not question her curiosity and she did not put any efforts forward to prove her intelligence or position as a noble woman.

Since at the end ot the story it all turns out to be a scheme, I am lead to believe that sne is cting like this to support Sir Gawain’s ideas about woman. I do not believe that she is truly such an “innocent” woman, but more fueling the misogynistic fire so that she could get what she wants. The story “Sir Gawain and The Green Knight” by Barron is a medieval tale with many interesting elements and ideas. The hints of Misogynistic thought are found in various places throughout the story. I have found further evidence, that accompanies well with Morgans article about the short story, that concludes the antifeminist qualities in the tale.

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Gawain. (2017, May 27). Retrieved November 8, 2019, from
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