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Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady
Transcript of Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady
By Jia Qi, Juliana, Michael, Danielle, Bailey, & Caitlin
What do you think is the theme or purpose of the story?
In this story it teaches us about love, beauty, and sacrifice. Overall, I think the author's message was to show the positive side of not judging people by their appearances and looking for the inner beauty whereas their outer beauty shows nothing of who they really are. The theme of this short story was conveyed as people who make sacrifices out of love are often rewarded. Some people think that if they do a good deed that they will get something in hopes of return. Mainly in this short story Sir Gawain is brave enough to surrender to his king and volunteer himself to wed the loathly lady the day after, not realizing the satisfaction he will get later. In this story it has brought to my attention how similar it is to "Beauty and the Beast". The comparison I am trying to make is that in the beginning of that movie the beast is cursed with a disgusting transformation for being selfish and unkind and until someone can love him for who he truly is he will stay that way forever unless love is able to see past the repulsive exterior. For the loathly lady she has also been done the same treatment and when Sir Gawain marries her he has released her from the curse.
Develop a plot diagram that you will also present to the class - written clearly on overhead.
Characters: King Arthur & the Black Knight
Setting: Arthur's kingdom & Inglewood
Conflict: In this story the first conflict that arrives is when King Arthur comes across the black knight and receives his riddle.
Characters introduced: The loathly lady
Conflict: In the rising action King Arthur comes across the loathly lady who gives him the answer to the black knight's riddle, in exchange for him finding her a husband that's a knight. King Arthur doesn't think any of his knights will come forward.
No new characters are introduced
The highest point of excitement in the story is when King Arthur agrees to find the loathly lady a husband.
Characters introduced: Sir Gawain
The story starts to resolve when Sir Gawain (a knight) agrees to marry the loathly lady, and breaks half of the curse.
No new characters are introduced.
Setting: The Chamber
The conflict is fully solved when Sir Gawain lets the loathly lady decide when she will appear in her natural state, thereby breaking the curse that was placed on her.
Identify and illustrate the different kinds of conflict in the story.
Man vs. Man
King Arthur vs. Black Knight
When King Arthur is spotted by the Black Knight, the Black Knight asks challenges King Arthur to dwell over his kingdom. King Arthur do not have his sword with him, he is hopeless. But the Black Knight sees no fun to this so he offers another choice. If the king could bring the correct answer to his riddle, Arthur would redeem himself again as king. The riddle is the following:
"What is it that women most desire?"
Man vs. Man
King Arthur vs. Loathly Lady
King Arthur doesn't have an answer to the Black Knights riddle, he returns to where he met the Black Knight . On the way there he meets a loathly lady sitting on a tree stump. She asks him why he looks so distress. King Arthur tells her the story of the black knight and his riddle. To his surprise the loathly lady has the answer. In exchange for the answer the king must grant her whatever she wishes. After the loathly lady has given her side of the bargain, then it's the kings turn to give. The loathly lady, who's so hideous and ugly, wishes that one of King Arthur's knights to marry her.
Provide a brief character sketch of the main characters. How are their characters revealed in the story?
Describe and illustrate the setting and the atmosphere/mood, with examples, from the story.
Identify the Point of View. Is it an effective choice? Why or why not? Would another point of view work better? Why or why not?
The story "Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady" is told in third person point of view. This is an effective choice because if we heard from one person side of the story, then we wouldn't hear the entire story. For example, if we heard from King Arthur's side of the story then we wouldn't get to know about the curse that was placed on the loathly lady because only Sir Gawain was in the room to experience what happened. It's reasons like these that wouldn't make another point of view work better.
Illustrate how ONE of the following language devices are used effectively to add to the reader's understanding of the theme, atmosphere, characters and their conflicts:
Irony(verbal, dramatic, or situational)
In the story "Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady", a surprise ending helps us to better understand the theme of the story. In the end the loathly lady is revealed to be a beautiful woman. Later we find out that she's not ugly at all, she is actually under a curse and, in fact, she's beautiful. When the loathly lady tells Sir Gawain about the curse, he is shocked. Then she tells him that the curse can only be broken if he answers her question. If the question is answered correctly the lady will be freed from the curse.
" Would you rather have me beautiful by day and hideous by night, or beautiful by night and hideous by day?"
When Sir Gawain answers the question the curse is finally broken and with that the loathly lady is turned back to her original beautiful form.
At this point of the story we find the main idea is that you should never judge a book by its cover and that true beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.
Inner and Outer Beauty
Retold By Selina Hastings
The Middle Ages Website
. 16 November 2012. Linda Alchin. 27
February 2013 < http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/courtley_love.htm>
The Middle Ages Website
. 16 November 2012. Linda Alchin. 25 February
2013 <http://www.the middle-ages.net/people/king_arthur.htm/>
. 26 February 2013. The Wikipedia project. 26
February 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Arthur>
Beauty comes in many different forms although the way it is portrayed in media is that you have to be perfect in every possible way. Personally I think that it's impossible to be perfect. Everyone has something about themselves that they would want to change but the trick is getting beyond your insecurities and loving yourself for the way you are.
After reading this story you walk away with a real and interesting message, it finally came to me when I read the story at home. When Sir Gawain first saw the Loathly Lady he saw the fake, plastic, and ugly side of the lady, which is transparent to the images we all see in the media. But, Sir Gawain married the Loathly Lady and accepted her for the way she looked on the outside; she transformed into someone we would never have expected. The Loathly Lady turned into the person that she looked like on the inside. This is transparent to the way see people we have crushes on, date, and marry.
This was why the Lady picked Sir Gawain to marry because she knew that his heart was pure, that he could see with his mind and not his eyes.
In the story "Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady" retold by Selina Hastings there was a king named Arthur Pendragon, but he's called "King Arthur" mostly throughout the story. The outstanding characteristics of this individual is that he's sincere, faithful and reliable, as a king should be. He represented these characteristics in different ways throughout the story. For example; through how he spoke, acted and felt. They showed these characteristics of King Arthur and brought out who he really is.
King Arthur is a King who never breaks his words. Who's loyal to his kingdom and does his best to protect it. He's caring, for he had fear for the danger that bestowed on his kingdom in this story. There were no descriptions of how he looked or how old he was in the story. But the story describes him well of his character. He tend to make decisions or actions without thinking first, which is his greatest fault in the story. His first conflict was how the Black Knight had given him a riddle and how King Arthur had to answer the riddle correctly in order to save his life and kingdom. The second conflict was how he had promised the monstrous Loathly Lady one of his Knights of the Round Table as her husband as a bargain for the answer of the Black Knight's riddle.
King Arthur is sincere because he always tells the truth. He didn't hold back when he described to Sir Gawain just how monstrous the Loathly Lady is and how he came to know her, giving the young knight time to think over whether he wants to marry the Loathly Lady or not. He's truthful to his words because he still went back to the Black Knight at the time he account for, for he had promised the Black knight when he could just brought along his knights to defeat the Black Knight since he didn't find an answer to the riddle that's given to him. He also stayed true to his words when he promised the Loathly Lady one of his knights for her husband, which was Sir Gawain. So in many ways the king is sincere. I also knew this when King Arthur said "Your pardon, madam. I shall keep my promise. I will return here tomorrow bringing with me your future Husband." The fact that he did bring her a husband showed he is sincere.
The Loathly Lady
In the story "Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady" retold by Selina Hastings there was a Loathly Lady. The characteristics of this particular individual is that she's wise, affectionate and decent. Even though she has a unique appearance than everyone else, she contains a very beautiful heart in side herself. She is admirable parson who has a strong heart even though she's a loathly lady.
The Loathly Lady is someone that's very wise and make decisions carefully. She stayed strong when she was made fun of because of her hideous appearance and that isn't something easy to do. She's kind when she had helped the king solve the riddle given to him and saved his life. She is described hideous, a freak and a truly loathly lady. For she has a pig's snout nose, a misshaped mouth, struck out two yellowing rows of horse's teeth from her mouth, her cheeks were as gnarled and twisted as the roots of an old oak. She acts as someone who is mysterious. For no one knew where she came from, who she is, what her name is and how she bestrode upon the curse given to her. She just appeared in the story as a Loathly Lady sitting on a tree stump on a road that King Arthur was taking to meet the Black Knight and saved his life. She's a mysterious one, this Loathly Lady.
The Loathly Lady is wise because she knew the answer to King Arthur's riddle, where as no other women don't. When the story said "Joyfully he turned to go, but the Lady caught his sleeve. 'Now for your side of the bargain,' she said." I knew she was very sly and wise. For she used the opportunity to find a husband because she won't be able to find one with her looks on her own. by doing this she got released from her spell and became the most beautiful women that Sir Gawain has ever seen. She had long golden hair hanging to her waist, her figure was slender as a fairy's and her pale skin as perfect as a piece of polished ivory. She got her beautiful form back and gain happiness as well in the end.
In the story "Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady" retold by Selina Hastings, there was a brave young knight of the Round Table who goes by the name of Sir Gawain. The characteristics of this young individual is that he's valiant, steadfast, and compulsive. He is a great young knight who's loyal to his king. He shows his characteristics by speaking, acting or feeling throughout the story. He is a knight worthy of the king.
Sir Gawain is a knight of the Round Table and also the youngest. He is always the first to come forward and ever ready to put his courage to the test. His spirit never falter when he has putted his mind to something he wants to do. He's loyal to his king and a brave young knight indeed. He also tend to act without considering the situations he might be in if he did. This made the conflict that he has to face in the story. His conflict was that he had to marry the monstrous Loathly Lady. Even though he knew how ugly she was, he still insisted on marring the Loathly Lady and he never considered what he thought, but what the king thought. Nearly to the end of the story he grieved over the thought of spending the rest of his life with a creature more hideous than a demon in a nightmare. This goes to show that acting without considering the situation he's going to put himself in is very unwise.
Sir Gawain is valiant because he always have a unfaltering spirit.He didn't tack back his words of marrying the Loathly Lady, even after the king described her hideous form or even when he saw her with his own eyes, for she looked more hideous than how the king had described her. He had never taken his words back. When the story said "Gawain looked stunned, but his spirit never faltered." I knew he was brave. Also I knew, when the story also said "Arthur loved this knight, always the first to come forward, ever ready to put his courage to the test." The fact that he's always the first to come forward, ever ready to put his courage to the test without knowing what he must do, shows that Sir Gawain is a very valiant young knight.
When the story said 'he was in an unfamiliar part of the forest, on the edge of a black and brackish pond surrounded by pine trees whose dark foliage obscured the light of day' we imagined a round, shallow (since the Black Knight is going to run through it and he didn't drown), blackish small pond surrounded by healthy green leafed pine trees that shaded the pond from the sunlight with their leaves. Only a few bits of sunlight shown through the pine tree leafs and connected lightly to the ground and some on the pond. But this wasn't enough to light up the pond from its dark color. The darkness of the pond made it seem bottomless, like the deep trenches in the ocean. The shadows made by the pine trees made the place eerie and mysterious. The edges of the pond had a few brown pine tree leafs floating gently on the surface of the water, unmoving. Where ever there's trees there would be birds. So there were bird calls echoing everywhere from deep within the forest. You'll see some birds flying to the opposite side of the pond and perch gently on the tree branches, calling for their mate. Aside from the bird calls the place was completely silent. Every now and then you'll hear a light breeze weaving through the trees, the pine needle leaves and bushes rustles as it gently blows past. The birds didn't dare to perch upon the bushes for there was humans (the Black Knight and King Arthur) occupying the forest ground. This was how we though the first setting of the story looked like.
Since the story mentioned only pine trees surrounding the pond in the first scene we thought the whole forest only consist of pine trees. When the story mentioned 'cantering along a grassy ride on the outskirts of the forest' we knew there would be grass in this second scene. When the story also mentioned 'by the side of the road' we thought that a dirt road (since it's the olden days, they didn't have concreted roads) sliced through the grassy plains. The story also mentioned 'sitting on a tree stump, a woman in a scarlet dress' we knew there would be a tree stump by the side of the road, since the story also mentioned 'caught sight of a flash of red by the side of the road.' So basically we imagined a grassy plain with the edge of the forest on the right. Only a long dirt road separated the grassy plain and the forest from each other, acting as a border. The grass were a healthy dark green and had grown high (knee length). There were bugs everywhere, feasting on the nutrition the grassy plain provided. The pine tree leafs had a healthy green color and they shaded the dirt road, making the road cool to travel on when it's a hot sunny day. Half way the road there's a pine tree stump sitting on the edge of the road near the forest. The bark was dark brown and the inside bark was light brown but the stump looked very old. This is what we imagined the second scene might look like.
The chamber would possible be a square room decorated with fresh leaves everywhere; on the walls, furniture and the door, for the story mentioned the chamber was decorated with fresh leaves. This may have given the room a peaceful and relaxing mood because of it's freshness. The floor of the chamber had sweet-smelling rushes strewn onto it (like what the story said), giving the room a peaceful mood. When you enter the room the great carved bed, hung with velvet, covered in soft furs (described in the story) might be placed in the middle of the right wall of the room. With a bed closest on the right side and a giant closest to the left. There might be a fire place opposite to the wall to keep the bed warm for the night. A window might be on the wall opposite of the door so that you can see the magnificent scenery once you entered. This is what we thought the chamber would look like.