Lanval And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

1464 words - 6 pages

Marie De France’s Lanval is a remarkable short narrative that engages the reader into a world filled with unrealistic elements, but enhances on the true meaning of romance, chivalry and nature during the years that King Arthur reigned. “Sir Gawain and The Green Knight” unfortunately does not have an author that can be recognized but this epic poem demonstrates the ghastly adventure of a knight who decides to defend the honor of young King Arthur against a supernatural being in this malicious game of cat and mouse. Both of these pieces of literature have enchanting characteristics that define them as a masterpiece of their era and that’s why they both are easily compared and contrasted. In addition, both Lanval and “Sir Gawain and The Green Knight” can be classified as similar through their themes, style and plots, although they are different through their language and diction. Even though both of these literatures can be viewed as similar as well as contrasting, in the end, each of these tales have illuminated the realm of fantasy throughout the court of King Arthur.
Themes are known to characterize the main idea or the many conflicts that occur within a storyline. They are the hidden foundation that the storyline follows. It is clear to say that both of these outstanding pieces of work have similar themes such as nature v. humanity, man v. man, and man v. himself. Nature v. Humanity is presented in the short narrative of Lanval through the characters of the Queen and young beautiful woman who stole Sir Lanval’s heart. The reason why this can be displayed as nature v. humanity is because the queen represents humanity. She is the one who is made through flesh and blood, and she is viewed and portrayed as the key

component in her society because she is the most powerful woman in the land. She sits besides her husband the King, King Arthur. On the other hand, this mysterious woman is defined by nature. She is incredibly beautiful and she is seemed to be illustrated as a nymph because they roam around the meadow with lavishing clothing and with rare beauty. “ their clothes were in expensive taste, close- fitting tunics, tightly laced, made of deep- dyed purple wool. Their faces were most beautiful. The older of the two conveyed.”(56). As demonstrated in other works of epic and romance, usually the older women is possessed with unnatural magic or obtains bargains with the younger gentlemen just like in this story. In addition, the older woman is always illustrated to be the most beautiful woman the male character has ever seen. In Lanval, nature v. humanity comes to play when the Queen is rejected by Sir Lanval for the Nymph who stole his heart. By this display of rejection the Queen falsely accuses Lanval as a man who betrays the oath and code of conduct to King Arthur and the rest comes to play. On the other hand, in “Sir Gawain and The Green Knight” the theme of nature v. humanity is demonstrated through the characters of Sir...

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