Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Topics: King Arthur, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Knights of the Round Table Pages: 7 (2217 words) Published: March 19, 2012

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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

The physician

Contrast and Comparison


A Connecticut Yankee in king Arthur’s Court is a novel published in 1889 by Mark Twain, a humorist and a writer. It is about the tale of Hank Morgan a resident of Hartford in Connecticut in the 19th century. Hank, after a blow to his head travels back in time to medieval England during the reign of King Arthur. The novel kind makes fun of the modern society but the junk of it is satirical on the ideas of the middle age Europe. It brings out the people in Europe at that time as susceptible.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a 14th century novel about the adventure of Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s table. In this tale, the Green Knight appears and challenges Sir Gawain to strike him with the axe only if he would take a return blow from the green knight in a year and a day. He strikes him with the axe and beheads him in a single blow but the green knight picks up his head and goes. The story is more of Sir Gawain’s adventure along the way to the appointment with Green Knight in a year and a day. These adventures show the unwavering spirit of loyalty and gallantry that Gawain has.

The physician by Noah Gordon is a novel about the life of an English boy, Rob Cole who is a Christian and travels through Europe in order to study medicine from the Muslims. Due to its Islamic nature, the book has not sold well in America understandably but has been impressive in Spain and Germany especially the translations. Rob’s parents die and he and the siblings are divided among those who would want them. He finds himself with a travelling barber cum surgeon who just known as barber. He takes Rob as his apprentice and trains him on how to draw, juggle, entertainment and even sell patent nostrum. Most importantly he teaches Rob all he knows in medicine though not much.

A Connecticut Yankee in king Arthur’s Court

In a rather show of how ignorant the society was in this novel, Hank is about to be burnt at the stake for his strange appearance and dressing; the death date King Arthurs sets coincides with the historical solar eclipse. Hank uses this to convince the King and the subjects that he has powers and that he caused the solar eclipse to happen at the time he was to be burned. He even says that he has the powers to blot out the sun completely thus the people believe him in amazement and awe and he is set free by the King. He is also appointed the principal minister to the king and treated with respect, something he could only dream of regarding the fact that he was supposed to be burning at the stake. The commoners and the king who thought to be very influential and powerful are duped into believing a glaring lie by an opportunistic Hank who was merely saving his life, as a result, he earns the reverence from the people and even referred to fondly by those people as “the Boss”. King Arthur and the people fail the gullibility test from Hank.

In what is a show of equality, with all the influence the Boss now had gained, he is still regarded by some people as equal because he is not a knight and has refused to join the ranks. He has no any form of nobility hence faces problems sometimes when people choose to realize that he is just equal to them. The society therefore has two sets of people; the noble and the commoners. The nobles such as knights are respected while the commoners are just that; common dogs.

With the advantage he has of the people, he learns about the medieval superstitions and takes over the sorcerers the church leaders. Superstition is therefore evident in this society that also claims to be Christian. Merlin, who was the king’s principal adviser and also the most powerful...

References: Gordon, N. (1986). The Physician. Basingstoke: Macmillan
Jessie L. (2003). Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Toronto: University of Toronto Press
Twain Mark. (1886). A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur 's Court. USA: Charles L. Webster and Co.
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