Sir Gawain appears, as a real hero and a noble knight, almost from the very beginning of the poem when he is accepting the challenge of the Green Knight. No one is brave enough to accept the beheading game proposed by the Green Knight, and if no one of the knights will accept the challenge, then king Arthur has to accept it, so that he and his knights will not be regarded as cowards. Sir Gawain, as a noble knight who truly serves his king, takes the challenge upon himself when he says to the Arthur, " Would you grant me the grace"
This book is composed of four main characteristics: fame, kingship, fate, and God, which play very important roles throughout the book. In Beowulf the Anglo-Saxons longed for fame. To them fame meant immortality. For example, the narrator says, "But Beowulf longing only for fame, leaped into battle" (Raffel 1529). To Beowulf the only reason to risk his life is a battle, is so he can have his moments of fame, hence immortality.
Sir Gawain is considered a hero by many because of his loyalty to King Arthur. He even risks his life so that King Arthur would live and participates in the Green Knights challenge. Although Macbeth has got a few more faults than other heroes have in British Literature, his name is still synonymous with “hero”. Aristotle says “the tragic hero has to fall from grace … after being on top” (Chui 1). Before the three witches tell Macbeth the false prophecies, Macbeth is in held is high accord, yet afterwards, his ambition tears him down and he does anything it takes gain the role of King.
Beowulf and Sir Gawain – True Heroes Heroes come in many forms. The construction of "the heroic" has taken many forms, yet traits such as: courage, honor, and loyalty, reappear as themes throughout the "hero" personality. The characters of Beowulf and Sir Gawain each represent a version of a hero, yet each comes across quite differently in their story. A hero can be said to truly win if he remains constant to his noble values when put in any situation that crosses his way. When measured by that criterion, Sir Gawain stands out above Beowulf as a true hero, due to his command of both personal and spiritual power through the use of thought, as well as valiant deeds.
Both Gawain's were strong knights and brave. In the Green Knight, Gawain stood up to fight for King Arthur. "I myself am the weakest, of course and in wit the most feeble; my life would be least missed, of we let out the truth. Only as you are my uncle have I any honor, for accepting your blood, I bear in my body any virtue... and since I have asked first, let it fall to me (P.144)." In Le Morte d'Arthur, Gawain was also brave to stay in France for six months and challenge everyone who confronted him.
He does not use unfair advantages. Beowulf fights with honor. Throughout his life, Beowulf fought many heroic battle... ... middle of paper ... ...ves him self to be the least worthy of life and praise. He tells King Arthur, “Think of your bold knights, bursting to fight, as ready and willing as men can be…And I am the slightest, the dullest of them all; My life the least, my death no loss,” (Raffel 58). Sir Gawain is very humble before his King.
This was a time of enjoyment for the noble lords, but the mood of the room quickly changed once a mysterious green figure appeared. This mysterious knight was green all over and challenged a person in the room to take part in a beheading game. The game was played by a person in the room giving an initial blow to the green knight, who will then give a returning blow a year and a day later from the time of the initial blow. At first nobody accepts the knight 's challenge, but King Arthur had to do something to maintain his status and prestige. King Arthur ultimately accepts the request, but his nephew Sir Gawain, a great and chivalrous knight who is known to hold these qualities, willingly takes his uncle 's place.
In, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Green Knight challenges King Arthur’s court to the beheading game, and no one accepts the game. As a reaction King Arthur accepts the challenge. Sir Gawain then asks the king if he can take the challenge because he is expendable and if he dies, the kingdom will still have their king. He takes his swing, cutting off the Green Knight’s head. To much surprise, the Green Knight picks up his head, tells Sir Gawain where to find him, and rides off.
But when confronted with an individual with heroic qualities we readily identify them as a hero. So what set of traits makes up this amorphous definition that we call hero? I would agree that the very definition is one that is dependent upon the time and society in which its context is being used. A person who shot someone to save the life of another may be viewed as a hero under the scrutiny of one culture, but in a different time or location the very opposite may be true. Nevertheless, heroes exist and posses these ever changing heroic qualities.
This section of the story deals with the second meeting of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and now it's the Green Knight's turn to return the favor. Gawain has traveled long and far to find the knight and uphold his end of the challenge and meet his fate. The Knight is very impressed by Gawain because a lesser man would have not kept his end of the bargain. All of this has led to the climax of the story with Gawain facing the knight, preparing to take the return blow from him and end the challenge. The knight raises the ax to hit Gawain, but Gawain flinches before it hits him.