Epic Heroes: Sir Gawain and Beowulf Essay

Epic Heroes: Sir Gawain and Beowulf Essay

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During the Middle Ages, both “Beowulf” and “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” were epic stories that were chanted aloud to the public. Each story told about epic heroes who went on a long journey to face or conqueror someone or something. “Beowulf” is a poem about a young man, Beowulf, who slays a monster and his mother with his bare hands to protect the people he loves. As the years go by Beowulf becomes king and a dragon begins to stir. In response to this, Beowulf fights the dragon with a sword and one loyal companion. Beowulf’s life comes to end, but so does the dragons. From this epic poem you can see that good does triumph over evil, but sometimes it comes at a cost. Along with “Beowulf”, “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” was another popular poem. This poem was about a squire, Sir Gawain, who chooses to take on a game proposed by the Green Knight instead of his uncle, King Arthur. He took on the game because he believed King Arthur’s life was more valuable than his own and that King Arthur should not risk his own life. As a result, Sir Gawain became a knight because of his loyalty and bravery. Both Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’s and Beowulf’s characters share the same quality of courage, the desire to protect people and the involvement of supernatural beings. Beowulf and Sir Gawain share courage in both of their stories. Beowulf show his courage when he decides to take on Grendel without a sword and shield. In the story, Beowulf asks Hrothgar if he can slay Grendel without armor and he says this, “Grant me, then Lord and protector of this noble place, a sing request! I have come so far, oh shelterer of warriors and our people’s loved friend, that this one favor you should not refuse me – that I, alone ...


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...th stories you can see that the supernatural events and people played a big role in helping show the characters courage and desire to assist their people. Both of these poems tell about two different stories and many different people in those stories, but that does not make the characters any different. Beowulf and Sir Gawain proved their courage by either clashing with a monster or choosing a deadly game. They both also showed their desire to help and save the people they care about by battling the supernatural. Despite the different journeys that Beowulf and Sir Gawain went on and the people they meet both characters share courage, the desire to save the people they love, and conquering the supernatural which are the qualities that make them an epic hero.

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