Nathanial Garrod

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight essay excerpt

Okay, so I’ve been working on the thesis statement for this essay assignment for about 1/2 an hour. After completely finishing the introductory paragraph, I looked at the assignment, and realized that I was supposed to write on the Green Knight, not pick a monster of my own choice. So I have this entire paragraph of an essay that I may go back and finish. Until then, I don’t want this work to go to waste, so you can read it.

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen wrote seven theses on monsters as a way of examining the society around the monster. The tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as translated by Simon Armitage, shows a number of monsters, including the (notable) Green Knight, Morgan le Fay, and the number of beasts Gawain encounters on his journey. From these many monsters, we see a reflection of the society. Yet one has to exist to see their reflection in the mirror. In this way, we can see Sir Gawain as a monster. When one reviews the text of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, one can see that Sir Gawain fits the second of Cohen’s theses; The Monster Always Escapes. In the case of Sir Gawain, escaping does not just mean physically getting away from harm, but also getting away with actions that may be considered disreputable. Because of the nobility of the knights, they always get away with the choices that they make.

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