Animalistic Characters in Medieval Times

Topics: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Knights of the Round Table Pages: 2 (643 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The many temptations of life bring people to act differently through personality changes. The characters in Sir Gawain the Green Knight change their personalities through temptation. Through the Christmas time, Bertilak, king of the castle, decides to go hunting. While he is hunting, his wife is hunting or seducing Gawain. Men tempted with sex by women often act with certain animalistic instincts; in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by the Pearl Poet, the seduction scene leads Gawain to act upon his animal instincts, which mimic the behaviors of the beasts of Bertilaks' hunt.The temptation in the first seduction scene and the first hunt scene of the deer relates in both shy and timid ways. When the lady approaches Gawain, he acts shy "laid his head low again in likeness of sleep" (25). Gawain, confused at the directness of the lady, pretends to be asleep. She throws her body at him, which startles Gawain to act ignorant. At the end of the first seduction scene, Gawain says, "I shall kiss at your command" (28). The deer, which at first is shy, but at the end of the hunt is killed, relates to Gawains' shy behavior, but at the end of the seduction scene is caught and kissed. Although the deer is the shyest of animals, the boar is caught with more use of power and strength. The next seduction and hunt scene revolves around the behavior of the boar. The boar is a quick and aggressive animal. It has a "bloodthirsty heart to quell" (31). Gawain, when approached by the lady in the second seduction scene, acts less ignorant to his position, but temptation draws him to be aggressive. "My aim is to please," (33) said Gawain. The lady tempts Gawain to such an extent that he tries to resist her by exchanging two kisses with her, instead of sleeping with her. The hunt of the boar caught at last with more strength then the deer, is parallel to the lady attempting to pursue Gawain. He is more tempted to her and finally is caught by power. The temptation of the...
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