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Hunting and Temptation Scenes in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Essay Example

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An essay "Hunting and Temptation Scenes in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" reports that the poem consists of three hunts, three temptations, and three distinct animals, all of which are significant to the themes and plot of the story; the hunting scenes are numerous and extremely elaborate…
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Hunting and Temptation Scenes in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
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Download file to see previous pages It is obvious that the author was motivated to spend such great effort and space in such action scenes; this paper will examine the meaning and significance of the hunting and temptation scenes in the poem. It is an acknowledged fact that medieval people loved fables, particularly stories of animals with human qualities as portrayed by the rooster in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; medieval people believed that certain animals were capable of emotions, spirituality as well as intelligence. An exploration of the popular believes about the habits and temper of animals that were hunted by the medieval people is crucial to drawing parallels between the hunt outside and inside the castle, between the lady of the house and Gawain (Savage 1). The medieval huntsman distinguished the hunted animals into two classes, ‘beasts of venery’ and ‘beasts of the chase’; the first class comprised of the male and female red deer, the wild boar and the wolf while the second one consisted of the male or female deer and the fox. Generally, the fox was known for its slyness and duplicity while the deer was considered honorable yet elusive to the hunt; the boar, while elusive, was capable of facing its assailant and striking back. In the poem, the story revolves around testing Gawain’s chivalry as while Bercilak hunts three animals, the deer, the boar and the fox, Gawain is pursued by the lady in the castle (Reutter 80); it is evident that the author has drawn parallels between the hunted animals and the temptations of Gawain in the castle. On the first day, the hunt is for a deer, which metaphorically represents the innocence and purity of Gawain as a highly decorated knight; the author offers a considerably lengthy and detailed description of the hunt and the eventual capture of the deer to highlight its symbolic significance. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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