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Religion In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

How does time periods like Anglo-Norman, Medieval, and Renaissance interact with religion? Anglo-Norman, Medieval, and Renaissance show us that we do not only interact with religion in church but we also interact with religion through our beliefs. People sometimes look at religion as someone having power and authority to take control over something. Many times religion can get caught up with people believing that they have power and that they can do whatever they please and they are to never be proven wrong.

Some people look at religion as being somewhat larger than life itself. In a negative way some people only rely on religion when they need God for something. In a positive way some people make it their duty to have a relationship with God regardless if the situation is good or bad. By looking at Anglo-Norman, Medieval, and Renaissance time period’s religion was being based on individual experience and it was guided by power, prayer, and love. In the poem Lanval the king had an individual experience with religion through power by being able to lead his throne.

In the Anglo-Norman time period, we learned in class that even though the king had power to make decisions he could not run things by himself because he needed help from others such as the knights and peasants. The description of how the barons and knights takes orders from their kings contributes to a broader construction of how much power the kings actually had. Also this poem portray religion as doing something decent and in order. This poem showed that it is in order for the knights and barons to serve Arthur.

That is how the knights and barons obey their job titles by being loyal to their king. It is easy to speculate on why the knights and barons have the belief and knowledge to worship their kings because that is what they have been taught to do. King Arthur is a perfect example of someone getting caught up with having the power and authority because he had enough power to end Lanval’s life if Lanval would not have been able to show proof and defend himself. People like the king that have power it is hard for them to be proven wrong because they thinking they know everything that there is to know.

Also, it is hard for people with a higher power and authority to be proven wrong because in their eyes they are supposed to be roles models to the people that work under them. In the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Arthur nephew Sir Gawain had an individual experience with religion through power because he was brave enough to choose to par the Green Knight challenge but he also chose to get help and guidance from the Lord. “The Green Knight’s initial exercise of power derives from his status as an unidentified and as a querying identifier” (234). The Green Knight orders power without letting people know his true identity.

The Green Knight showed that he had power and that he was not scared of king Arthur and his throne because he showed up unannounced and in a spontaneous manner. “Power in this case lies with the one who remains unidentified and diminished power with the would-be identifier” (233). This shows that power do not always have to come from someone that is popular. Sir Gawain also exemplified an individual experience with religion through prayer because when he would get confused and scared he called on the heavenly father. “Father, hear me, and Lady Mary, our mother most mild, let me happen on some house where mass might be heard” (754-755).

Sir Gawain is looking for the Lord to lead him in the direction to where he has to go. “He offered up thanks to Jesus and Saint Julian, both gentle and good, who had courteously heard him and heeded his cry” (773-775). Sir Gawain gave the Lord some praise for showing him guidance. This poem shows that pray works and that it can change things around for the good. In this poem religion seems to be linked with faith and assurance. Sir Gawain has faith in God by allowing him to direct his path and he has assurance in God by not doubting to call his name.

This poem shows that people can always turn to God when they get lost in the world or do not have anyone to turn to. “With no friends but his horse through forest and hills and only our Lord in heaven to hear him” (695-696). This shows that we can always count on God to help us when we feel alone in this world. In the Medieval time period the poem called the Wife of Bath showed that the Wife had an individual experience with religion through power by interpreting the bible in her terms and she was convinced to do things her way. The Wife of Bath attempts to overcome, and is yet caught in, the double bind of endeavoring to give voice to distinctively female experience in the face of authority and audience whose values and expectations are overwhelmingly male” (202). It was always common for men to have the power and authority but Chaucer decided to switch the roles and allowed a female to have power in the Wife of Bath. “I have the power during al my life” (164). The wife is familiar with given orders and calling the shots to other people.

The Wife showed her power in a prideful manner by staying true to herself and standing up for what she thought was right. Also, this poem portrays a lot of knowledge in a since by allowing the Wife to have knowledge and some understanding on certain stories in the bible. “The way in which she speaks, what she does and doesn’t say, her rationalizations and defenses, and her recreative power-reveals the psychic cost, and benefits of her survival in a culture in which her on own experience runs counter to the authority of the prevailing ideology” (202).

Experience is being portrayed as well because the Wife is a skilled woman when it comes to being married. In the Renaissance time period the sonnet sequence Amoretti showed an individual experience with religion through a couple love by acknowledging that the Lord had taught them how to love each other. In our previous stories religion was mainly portrayed through power but this sonnet sequence focus religion through love because we as individuals are supposed to love one another and not hate each other. This sonnet sequence was based on the speaker being able to express his feelings for his beloved through his book.

The speaker would like for his beloved to read his book so she can know exactly how much he loves her. Even with little mentioning of religion in his sonnet sequences the speaker was bold enough to show love by not being ashamed to admit that the Lord died for a wickedness. The speaker does not mind acknowledging the fact that the Lord made a huge sacrifice for everyone. “Whom if ye please, care for other none” (1. 14). It seems that the speaker beloved is his inspiration and that is the only reason why he enjoys writing. The speaker makes it clear that he is only concern about his beloved and her opinion.

The speaker will be heartbroken if his beloved chooses to not read his book or show him love. I do not think the speaker will be able to function properly if he do not have his beloved blessing and support. In the Renaissance time period the poem Hero and Leander showed an individual experience with religion through love by allowing the couple to express their feelings instead of lying to each other. Leander was well aware that Hero was a virgin and that she worked under the service of Venus. “Marlowe seems more interested in how to get sexual results” (222).

In class we talked about how their love is described as a sexual love because they were not married like the couple was in Amoretti. Leaner was not afraid to express his feelings and concern to Hero. Leander thinks that Hero is not treating herself well enough because she is a virgin. “A variety of verbal and nonverbal expressions of love could result in, or at least be confused for, a promise of marriage” (218). Hero and Leander ways of showing love could result people feeling chaotic because one moment they seems like a married couple and then the next moment they seem like friends.

The men desire Leander not because he is a man but because he looks like a woman” (223). Both Hero and Leander were labeled as being beautiful. Marlowe was not just focusing on describing women lovely beauty but he was also focusing on describing men lovely beauty as well. That is why in the poem other men even acknowledge that Leander was attractive. Also, in this poem temptation is being portrayed because Leander tempted Hero to no longer be a virgin anymore. “If they wish to cure themselves, they must find a love object willing to give in to sexual temptation if a promise of marriage is involved” (223).

The obiective is for men to find a woman who will be willing to have sex with him and they are to promise that they will marry the woman. Although religion was not a big aspect in these different time periods you can still see examples of religion to know that some people back then knew a little about worshiping God. Regardless if people acknowledge God or if people ignore him religion will always be available for people. Some of these poems illustrated that no matter if we act good or bad God will continuously love us in an unconditional manner.

In these different time periods religion was based on what people believed in and what they practice. Throughout these time periods religion was center around God and kings. Some of the poems in these different time periods showed that God is willing and able to join two people together to create a wonderful thing called love. Even though religion was not a big aspect in these different time periods it is still evident that some people believed that they need some religious power to help lead them and guide them. These time periods showed that religion can be comprehended in the simplest ways such as through power, prayer, and love.

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