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The Role of Lady Bertilak in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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The Role of Lady Bertilak in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The role of women was a key role in medieval times. In the poem of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, two women represent this role. They are Lady Bertilak, who is Lord Bertilak’s wife, and Morgan La Faye. It all starts when Sir Gawain is welcomed to Lord Bertilak’s castle and then he meets these two women living there. At all times, Bertilak requests Gawain to feel at home and socialize with these women without problems. Bertilak trusts Gawain even though he would be away and Gawain would remain alone with women. However, his nameless wife uses many different ways to chase Sir Gawain and take advantage of her condition as the host’s wife. Lady Bertilak is a superior being that uses seduction and a supernatural power as a tool to hunt Sir Gawain in order to break his Christian, chivalric and loyal codes.
Scholars, that I’ll mention it later, agree that women can emotionally manipulate men, but lacked political power in real life. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight poem is represented by two women mentioned above.
“Morgan the Goddess therefore is now her name; none has such high haughtiness that she cannot make full tame” (¶ 98, P. 83). Even though Morgan la Faye, considered to be “The Goddess”, does not appear much in the poem, she represents a certain passive feminine power. Nonetheless, Lord Bertilak’s wife is shown as an active feminine power. She embodies a male character and specifically in the room scenes. I mean, she takes the initiative to seduce him when are men who normally do it. Plus, she attempts three times but he refuses her.
“The lady bends her adown and sweetly she kisses his face; much speech they there expound of love, its grief and grace” (¶ 59, P. 62). Lady Bertilak takes control over the room scenes. As Jane Burns indicates “While the Lady is being forward and outgoing,...

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