Cultural and Social Factors in Sir Gawain

So, even after the discussion I’m still really confused about this work…not that the plot or what is going on is confusing but that I think that everything is pretty much as is and I kinda of take it at face value. I’m not sure how to read deeper into the story or really see things that aren’t there…usually that isn’t a problem but I think I just have a fear of Medieval texts…that being said I’m just going to talk about a part of the supplemental reading I found interesting.

“But that’s hardly the point; more important is that there is good late medieval evidence that sexual acts were fundamental to an individual subject’s sense of self and location in larger cultural structures” (Dinshaw 207).

This quote kind of stood out to me because it reminded me of this sociological study I was reading about. The study was basically that gay men, I think in the 60’s, would be married and have kids with women they didn’t really love or even want just so that they wouldn’t be a disgrace to their families or the larger social settings they were a part of. Now, this is a stretch but just hear me out, if Gawain was gay right and being gay was looked down upon, was he just entertaining Morgan for a fear of the larger cultural and social structures? I mean I get that there’s a huge gap in time between the two instances but would that then explain why he doesn’t really pursue Morgan? It would certainly explain the weird behavior of Gawain and Morgan, but it would also explain the underlying behaviors between Gawain and Bertilak.

I do have to ask the question though was this the intention of author? I always seem to take the authors choices and intent into consideration because after all, it is their creation….

Side Note:

After partnering with Krystal in class and listening to how woman are portrayed in the piece, it got me thinking about the time period…It would make sense for woman to be depicted this way because this was the general consensus of woman back then. Now that there are all these new theories and feminists perspectives out it makes thinking about the story different, but I also think it’s important to keep the text in its original context.



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