Riddy, Felicity. "Jewels in Pearl" in A Companion to the Gawain-Poet, pp. 142-55. Derek Brewer and Jonathan Gibson, editors. Cambridge: D.S.
San Diego: Greenhaven Press,1998. Shippey, T.A.. “The World of the Poem.” In Beowulf – Modern Critical Interpretations, edited by Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987. Thompson, Stephen P, editor. Readings on Beowulf.
This character represents the virtuous and perfect things in which society bestows upon the women of this time, giving great power to beauty and fortune. Although these charac... ... middle of paper ... ...r Gawain and the Green Knight and Lanval are distant representations of real women in this time period. Society plays an important role in stereotyping women based on their good and evil nature as well as, their actions towards men. Even though this separation might sometimes be true, it is the perfect virgin that will always be a symbol of excellence and strength. The relationship between perfection and flaw is checkered throughout history, becoming a frequent comparison in many medieval works.
Alexander Pope, the author of The Rape of the Lock, writes this poem of a woman, Belinda, who he criticizes upon his heroic-comical ways. Throughout this epic poem Pope judges this young lady, Belinda, for her looks, her thoughts, and her beliefs. Pope creates an image of what he believes is true about women through the way Belinda dresses, how she acts, and how she thinks. He uses irony to mock this woman and to assure that his thoughts are not only about Belinda herself but in all the women in general. Alexander Pope treats women as disorganized, hypocritical, all about beauty, and unintelligent and unfocused in his mock-epic poem, The Rape of the Lock.
Madness, curiously, forces her back into the stereotypical femininity that her transgressive yearning for imperial power had repudiated¨ (Gilbert). This loss could be described as nothing less than an injustice of Lady Macbeth's character. Analysis of Macbeth almost always concludes that Lady Macbeth is evil and nothing else, nevertheless, her need for power, even by extension of her husband, led to murder. Her belittling, even in modern literary texts, shows how deeply imbedded the idea of women being the Other has become. Lady Macbeth could represent a powerful, and obviously flawed, character instead of simply an extension or backdrop for Macbeth.
This is evidenced by the actions of Lady Macbeth, minor female characters such as the sailor’s wife and the gentlewoman, and Lady Macduff. For example, Lady Macbeth constantly breaks convention with her masculine assertions; however, because of these choices, she is ultimately punished. In her famous “unsex me speech” she calls upon “spirits that tend on mortal thoughts [to] unsex [her] here” by displacing her female characteristics with male traits (I.V.39-40). She does this because she feels that women do not have the natural capacity to handle high-risk situations. Lady Macbeth utilizes her acquired masculinity by, in fact, surpassing the manliness of her husband.
New York, W.W.Norton and Co.: 1975. Stanley, E.G.. “Beowulf.” In The Beowulf Reader, edited by Peter S. Baker. New York: Garland Publishing, 2000. Thompson, Stephen P. “The Beowulf poet and His World.” In Readings on Beowulf, edited by Stephen P. Thompson. San Diego: Greenhaven Press,1998.
New York: Anchor Books, 1977. Greenfield, Stanley B.. “The Finn Episode and its Parallet.” In Beowulf: The Donaldson Translation, edited by Joseph F. Tuso. New York, W.W.Norton and Co.: 1975. Tripp, Raymond P. “Digressive Revaluation(s).” In Beowulf – Modern Critical Interpretations, edited by Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987.
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.