The Wife Of Baths Tale And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

Submitted By Seagovvv
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Magical Promises
In the Wife of Baths Tale and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, two characters are roughly mirror images of each other. The old woman from Chaucer’s tale and the Green Knight from the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight both have the same character archetype. From both these stories we get a character that has the motive to persuade someone to do a task and then test the faithfulness of the character persuasion was put upon.

In the Wife of Baths Tale the Old Women supplies the young knight with an answer to his question, however in return the knight must then do what ever the old lady bids. The old lady tells the young knight he must marry her, when he resentfully agreed, she then offers the ultimatum either I can be beautiful and unfaithful or faithful and ugly. The woman then proceeds to give the knight her beautiful and faithful side. The Green Knight presents himself in the court of the king of Camelot, his massive body and green skin sets him apart from all the other knights. He is an enormous figure: the knight says that he comes in friendship and peace, not wanting to fight. While he says he comes in peace and friendship the friendly game he sets forth is quite deadly. He then speaks of how great of importance to verbal agreements. Like the old hag the knight expresses how important it is to keep up your end of the bargain. In both circumstances the ideas of don’t break your promise is presented. Both stories offer a promise and the promises are accepted, if they break these promise punishment will ensue. If they hold these promises, which they do they will in turn gain a reward from it

The old hag at first gives the knight the answer he was looking for, when the favor is asked of him he is rather weary to comply and marry the old feeble woman. However the knight asks her to chose if she wants to be I can be beautiful and unfaithful or faithful and ugly. The knight then says to the hag: you can choose what you want to become. In return she becomes beautiful and loyal. The hag used her magic to reward the young knight for his loyalty and respect. Like the old lady the green knight offers a different scenario, you may cut my head off if I may cut yours. When Sir Gawain chops the knights head off the green knight responds with you must go to the green temple one year and one day from now to keep your promise. Sir Gawain then travels through the wilderness in search of the green temple; when Gawain arrives Bertilak de