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Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

As we dive into our next story, we get to take a look at King Arthur and his knights. (In this case, Gawain specifically.) As with almost all early British literature, there is, of course, debate surrounding the legend of King Arthur. Some scholars argue about whether King Arthur was a real person or if he was just a legend. Perhaps wishful thinking. Of course, we will never know for sure. If you have a chance, I highly recommend watching King Arthur with Clive Owen and Keira Knightly. Note, this isn’t a mandatory assignment. I just like the movie.As we move from Beowulf – a hero who roamed the land killing evil with his bare hands, we come to Arthur – the leader of a band of knights. What did they have in common? Loyalty, a sense of honor, and a strong need to protect the people. The difference is that King Arthur was the start of the romantic ages and chivalry was as important a quality as anything else. That leads to our discussion post this week.As you read in The Middle Ages in your text, the caste system and chivalry were very important during this time period. In your opinion, does chivalry help or hurt the plight of women. The respect is great, but at what cost? We know that Serfs were in a rough spot, but after the plague, they rose up and created the Middle Class. Did women have the same opportunity?Next, looking at Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, what chivalrous acts do you see that seem counterproductive? Here’s an example? Why did ANYONE even accept the Green Knight’s challenge? It was all pride and honor to the point of ridiculousness. When reading SGATGK, pick out two examples where chivalry gets in the way and explain your reasoning. Remember, as long as you pick something chivalrous, you can’t get this wrong!