The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell

The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell

Anon.

late 15th century

England

Manuscript

In this so-called ‘loathly lady’ romance, related to Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Tale, Arthur and Gawain are forced to discover what women most desire, after Arthur is caught unawares by a disgruntled knight. The answer is offered by a hag named Dame Ragnell, whose price for this valuable piece of information is to marry Gawain. The poet takes great delight in describing Ragnell's huge appetite and awful manners at the wedding feast. On thier wedding night she gives Gawain a choice: she will be beautiful by day and ugly by night, or vice versa. Gawain wisely leaves the decision to her, and is rewarded by her becoming a constant beauty. Several of this manuscript’s other texts debate questions of female roles, sexuality and relations between men and women. And the answer to the question? Women, apparently, desire sovereignty, or power.

Comments

19/12/2014

Michael L Taylor

Sir Gawaine was a wise man.When women regain full power the world will be a better and safer place.

<em>Sir Gawain and the Green Knight</em>
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
<em>The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell</em>
The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell