Misogyny in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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Women were always viewed as weak, dependent, and powerless in the Middle Ages. Not only is it a common view during that time period, but this also is often stereotyped labeled to women today as well. In the romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the hatred of women is portrayed throughout. However, while women are certainly looked down upon, they also are influential to the knights. This romance also portrays how a woman having different characteristics, could change the way she was viewed as well. Although women in the Middle Ages appeared to lack power, the women in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight have a hidden influence over the men and actually drive the action of the medieval romance.
Misogyny is a very important idea in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The word misogyny literally translates to the hatred of women. In this medieval romance, Gawain references biblical characters who have been deceived by women, and shows his feelings of how women are evil. For example, the story of Rebekah shows the inferior social position and lack of political power in a society where men ruled. In the Bible, Rebekah was married to Isaac who was the son of Abraham. They had two sons named Jacob and Esau. They were born together, but were completely different from each other. Esau was a skillful hunter, and was always out in the fields, but Jacob was peaceful and stayed indoors in the tents. Isaac favored Esua more but on the other hand, Rebekah favored Jacob more. Then one day, Rebekah was eavesdropping outside the tent, and heard Isaac telling Esau to hunt and make him a stew so that he could gain strength to bless him before he died. At that time, Isaac was fairly ill and was blind so he did not know when he was going to pass away. At ...

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... La Faye, Guinevere, and Lady Bercilak were all important factors in making Gawain realize that he is not perfect and that his pride overtakes all aspects in his life. Different characteristics of the women showed how no matter what beauty, magical powers, and obedience they had, they all shared the same goal to influence the men and play a large role in their everyday lives. Without women during the middle ages and also in the present time, society would not be what it is today, because women play very important roles that benefit and influence men.

Works Cited

Morgan, Gerald. "Medieval misogyny and Gawain's outburst against women in 'Sir Gawain and the green Knight'." The Modern Language Review 97.2 (2002): 265+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.

Barron, W.R.J., trans. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.. New York: Manchester University Press, 1974.
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