Exam Question

Throughout all of the texts we have read this semester, there was a common theme of religion and nature. Using specific evidence from the text bring up how a certain character attempted to go against nature or religion. Did they ultimately end up failing or succeeding? Explain the situation in which they attempted this and analyze their ending.

Paper Proposal: “Forgiving a Knight’s Mistakes”

This paper intends to show the difference of knightly behavior between the Hawk Knight in Yonec and Sir Gawain in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Both these texts relate to each other by the concept of knightly behavior and psychology, showing how these two completely different characters share similar morals and mindsets. Scholars such as Muriel Ingham and Lawrence Barkley both describe how animals played a major role in the meaning of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight during the exchange scenes (Further Animal Parallels in “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”).  The idea of how the Hawk Knight in Yonec is part hawk helps fuel the argument of animal presence for both of the knight in the story, and how it drives the narrative forward. Another common idea between the two text would be the sense of pride that both of these knights have, and their fall from their high point, literally and figuratively, depends on the story. Martin Puhvel brings up many interesting points in his research about the behavior of Sir Gawain and how he was arrogant as a knight. The same actions that caused Sir Gawain grief, can be directly related to the Hawk Knight in Yonec and how he met his demise because of it. I will argue the elements of knighthood and behavior of both the Hawk Knight and Sir Gawain. Taking into consideration that both of these characters are completely different as beings, and completely different “species” in general. While Sir Gawain is human and a knight, he becomes prideful and almost dies because of his arrogance. Yet, the Hawk Knight, a supernatural/ superhuman being, died a horrible death without being given a chance to redeem himself like Sir Gawain. I plan on closely reading texts written by Martin Puhvel, Victoria L. Weiss, Muriel Ingham, and Lawrence Barkely when looking into how these two characters interact with each other.

March 16: A Dispute Between Body and Worms

The worms in the story are not portrayed as evil for eating away at the body, but instead as part of the circle of life. However, the woman in the story is so worries about her physical appearance she tries to kick the worms out of her body. This is an example of one of the seven deadly sins, pride. Could this story be giving a moral lesson on one of the seven deadly sins?

March 14: “With the World, or Bound to Face the Sky”

Normally when some animal is raised in captivity, it wouldn’t be able to survive out in the wild, if it were to be released. For example, most animals in zoos cannot be released into the wild if they were raised in captivity their entire lives. However, in this story, the roles are switched. Could this concept hold true for the Hesse child being “domesticated” by the wolves unable to join human society?

Feburary 28: Gerald of Wales

In the beginning of the introduction Gerald is described to have reforming zeal. With this mindset he managed to get rid of sinful people out of higher positions, eventually holding a high position himself. Would you describe Gerald as being a true man of Christianity, holding up the ideals that others simply ignored? Why or why not?