Compare and Contrast of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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Compare and Contrast of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Beowulf is an epic poem that was written in the Anglo-Saxon time period where only a few privileged people were able to read and write while Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which is also an epic poem, was written in the Middle English time period where reading and writing was more wide-spread. While both the epic poem Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight have similar protagonists, the main character of each poem also has different characteristics that make up the unique identities of each, such as Beowulf’s possession of superhuman abilities that Sir Gawain does not possess naturally, the chivalrous code of Sir Gawain and the heroic code that Beowulf lives by, and the different uses of nature in both poems (such as the embodiment of life and death).
The first comparison would be of their physical characteristics. Beowulf is portrayed as the having “...the strength of thirty in the grip of each hand...” (line 380). Beowulf has a superhuman body that is able to withstand even the most wicked of opponents while Sir Gawain possesses a mortal body. For example, Gawain claims, “My body, but for your worth, is barren” (line 357) and takes King Arthur's place in the Christmas game proposed by the Green Knight.

The second comparison would be of their codes of conduct. If you compare the two heroes' ethics, you see that they are different, too. Beowulf appears to have little morals that he lives by. His pride in himself and loyalty to his country are qualities of a hero, but there is not one line in which he shows inner strength from his heart - only his quest to put another 'notch in his belt.’ Sir Gawain never shows signs of arrogance, only selflessness, hon...

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... and the Middle English era). While both the epic poem Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight have similar protagonists, the main character of each poem also has different characteristics that make up the unique identities of each, such as Beowulf’s possession of superhuman abilities that Sir Gawain does not possess naturally, the chivalrous code of Sir Gawain and the heroic code that Beowulf lives by, and the different uses of nature in both poems (such as the embodiment of life and death). The reader can see the differences the two epic poems and their protagonists possess. Germanic Anglo-Saxons spoke Old English, which was the main language of the time period while the Middle English people spoke a variation of Old English with French words. The Germanic Old English language was around in the Middle English period, but only low-class people would speak it.
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