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Lecture

ENGB31

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Department
English
Course
ENGB31
Professor
Natalie Rose
Semester
Winter

Description
1/17/2013 8:34:00 AM ENGB31_Jan16 Gawain cont’d…  “Of all the aspects of chivalry, the thing most praised/ is the true practice of love, knighthood’s very lore” (1512-13)  Courtly love and the pentangle  Courtly love and courtesy  The exchange of winnings o Homosocial bond: “social bonds between persons of the same sex” (Eve Sedgwick)  The significance of the green girdle o He takes it only to protects himself; to commit a sin to survive is considered as a minor sin -> according to religious context o Part of her undergarment  “signifies a love token”  desire to stay alive is a natural fundamental urge o human, seen as a perfect virtuous figure, and seems like its his only flaw o breaks his vow, loyalty with the king  threatens and breaks the homosocial bond o conflicts:  self preservation vs. desire to survive  courtly love vs. male chivalric bond  The green chapel o This romance is not episodic: a moral lesson? o Anti-romance?  Compare and contrast Sir Bertilak’s judgment of Gawain’s conduct, and Gawain’s own  “to me truly you seem/ One of the most perfect men who ever walked on the earth” (2363-4)  “because you wanted to live; so I blame you the less” (2368)  “he winced with shame at what the man said” (2373)  “The fear of your blow taught me cowardice, To give way to covetousness, be false to my nature, The generosity and fidelity expected of knights” (2379-81) o Gawain relates “nature” as his identity as a knight; chivalry is part of his nature - disappointment in guilt - Gawain understands culture and society as nature - But green knight says nature is that you cannot live up to the code of the pentangle - There are two different views: o Moral reading followed by the romance reading  What do you make court’s adoption of the girdle? o  Implications of Morgan Le Fay’s (old witch lady) being the romance’s prime mover? o She is seen as the evil temptress o Hates Guinevere o Prime mover and prime antagon
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