Essay on Comparing Beowulf And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

Essay on Comparing Beowulf And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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uring the Middle Ages, two poems, Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight embody heroic figures. Beowulf, who demonstrates all the characteristics of an ideal hero, is faced with physical challenges that no other man could face during his existence. Beowulf was not only looking to become a hero, he wanted to reveal the importance of establishing identity. However, Beowulf was not the only hero during this time period. Sir Gawain also participates in challenges that define his character. Sir Gawain was indeed a hero, but he was mostly concerned with maintaining his reputation, which sets him and Beowulf apart when it comes to being the most ideal hero. Beowulf and Sir Gawain are both models of strength and bravery as they achieve deeds in order to bring glory to their king. As both men try to establish a heroic title, Beowulf gained better recognition because he was a hero to his not only his king, but to his entire society.
Although both heroes demonstrate spontaneous actions, Beowulf gained far more recognition than Sir Gawain did. Beowulf was not only recognized by his entire society, he portrayed a character to his warriors that they should endeavor. The poem Beowulf, explains two stages, youth and age, where Beowulf acted as the ideal hero. During Beowulf’s youth, he showed his courage during the swimming match with Breca. As Beowulf made a name for himself, he was seen as a hero when he defeated Grendel. Not only did he gain a heroic title he was respected by his entire kingdom. When Hygelac died, Beowulf did not even think to hurry to the throne. Instead, he shows a great deal of respect to Hygelac’s son. When Beowulf showed these acts of loyalty he proved to not only Hygelac’s son but to his society that he was a worth...


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...less of Sir Gawain’s courage and bravery, he values his own life more than loyalty, honesty, and respect, the aspects that define an ideal hero.
Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight were both written in the Middle Ages.
Both of these heroic poems conveyed strong beliefs when it came to Christianity and Paganism. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Christianity was revealed when Sir Gawain’s shield contained an image of the Virgin Mary as a reminder for Gawain to never lose heart. Beowulf often referred to his beliefs in Christ throughout the poem and Sir Gawain kept them to himself. Beowulf arises from pagan Saxon past but by the time the poem was written down, the Anglo-Saxons converted to another religion, Christianity. As a result, Beowulf does not lead by example when it comes to Christian beliefs, he believes in preservation of life rather than heaven.

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