Men are said to be the head of the household and are usually the breadwinners with their main role consisting of providing for their families. On the other hand, as stated in the comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding, women act as the neck of the household, therefore they have the ability to turn the “head”, or their husbands, in any direction they choose. Women had no ways of expressing their feelings directly in society, but instead expressed them through manipulation of their husbands. The ladies in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight exercise control in many momentous situations that if had not gone their way could’ve completely changed the ending of the game. For example, Morgana Le fay, an evil but extremely clever sorceress, had power over most situations in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Without her influence, the game wouldn’t have existed. Thus, although women had no direct power in medieval society, the ability of the ladies in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to influence and manipulate the men around them was the one method available to assert their desire and control the men’s action.
In medieval history, women were mainly viewed as property. However little did men know that women had their own beliefs and desires. In Twentieth Century Interpretations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Cecily Clark states, “Apart from the minor point concerning pronouns of address, her style bears no resemblance to her husbands” (Clark 36). Most women would agree with Clark in his saying that the only thing women have the same as their husband’s is their last name, which recently isn’t always the case.
Women were also led on to believe that housewifery and motherhood were the only two occupations available to them. In most girls’ lives, fathers and husbands prohibited them from doing what they pleased. Girls spent their childhoods preparing for procreation and pleasing men, being told that those two things were their only options for the future. Gerald Morgan seems to support this belief in “Medieval Misogyny and Gawain’s Outburst against Women in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” when he says “Indeed the difference of sex is not a source of defect at all, but is required for the perfection of the species” (Morgan 20). Morgan makes an interesting point in his belief that women are required for the perfection of the species because they take on the roles that men do not. Currently ,women are breaking free from this secondary status and are taking on the roles of breadwinner and mother successfully, not needing a man to tell them otherwise. As a result, its unnecessary for women to resort to manipulation to express their desires as women in medieval history had to.
Women had several manipulation strategies. From the chivalric tendencies of knights to women’s seductive tactics; manipulation was somewhat simple. Gawain’s respectful and chivalric actions empower many women in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, especially Lady Bercilak. He states “This is my...