English 2112 Essay

1186 words - 5 pages

In society, appearance is an important entity on how we live our lives and how others perceive an individual. Appearance also can dictate how we perceive ourselves and it can also guide how our future can formulate, like occupation and personal endeavors. In three works of literature I will illustrate how appearance is an extensive focus, and how appearance is used in the works to display personality and to display how the story will proceed and conclude. In Sir Gawain and Green Knight appearance is an important factor in the story, because of the emphasis on chivalry and ethics. When Green Knight arrived at Camelot during the Christmas feast, he appeared with great essence and that was described in lines (140-169). In those lines the description of the Green Knight was like describing an immortal god, for example:
“a fearful form, framed in the door: a mountain of a man, immeasurably high, a hulk of a human from head to hips, so long and thick in his loins and limbs I should genuinely judge him to be half giant, or a massive man, the mightiest of mortals” (136-141). In this small section of the passage the narrator goes into extensive detail about the Green Knights physical being and how his appearance is adequately intimidating. The Green Knights appearance is significant because throughout the story he is a very bullish individual. When the Green Knight challenges King Arthur’s court as well as Arthur himself to partake in the game he wants to perform, when no one obliges the Green Knight questions the king and his court fearlessness. “So here is the House of Arthur”, he scoffed “whose virtues reverberate across vast realms. Where’s the fortitude and fearlessness you’re so famous for?”(310-312). After the proclamation by the Green Knight, King Arthur agrees to play the Green Knights game and soon Sir Gawain agreed to play in place of King Arthur. The appearance of the Green Knight displays his personality as well as his physicality which coincides with each other. In lines 310-312 previously stated, the Green Knight moderately bullies his way in performing this “game” by challenging one of the major subject matters of the knights and that is fearlessness. The Green Knight somewhat disrespects the court and the court responds by agreeing to partake in the “game”. Just like a tormentor the Green Knight uses his physical prowess together intertwines it with his mental prowess and encourages the court to partake in the “game” by insulting them in front of their family and guests.
When Gawain was at the home of Bertilak; Bertilak’s wife who was a young and beautiful and was described as being more stunning than Guinevere by Gawain introduce herself. The description of the appearance of the Hosts wife from Gawain seemed quite lustful but respectable. “She was the fairest amongst them-her face, her flesh, her complexion, her quality, her bearing, her body, more glorious the Guinevere, or so Gawain thought” (943-944). The appearance of Bertilak’s...

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