Due to contextual differences between the two old English texts, both Gawain and Beowulf are placed under quiet differing circumstances to determine their worth as heroes. Gawain undergoing more moral and behavioural trails of knighthood, while Beowulf through physical challenges to prove he is a worthy hero. The reader’s understanding of the hero and failure to be heroic is constantly challenged and redirected by both these text to suggesting there is no such thing as a true hero.
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.
What is a hero? Is it someone who pulls a drowning child out of a lake or is it someone such as Nelson Mandela who inspires others to be better? I believe it is both. Although the two differ in what makes them a hero, they are still a hero. That being said, when comparing the British characters Beowulf and Sir Gawain, I found that both fit the hero archetype. Beowulf and Sir Gawain will be compared on the hero archetype characteristics of being better than the ordinary man, proving oneself many times, and having a tragic flaw.
A hero not only needs to be physically outstanding, but he also needs to have integrity, moral values and needs to act without thinking in his own benefit. Beowulf has many characteristics of a hero but he also has some defects that make me think that he wouldn’t be considered a hero in today´s world. A hero concept evolves with a culture, Beowulf has many things that the Anglo-Saxons viewed as heroism but he misses many things that are important for a modern hero.
A hero is someone who is admired for their courage and bravery, as well as their noble accomplishments. They are respected by almost everyone, due to their kindness and charitable mindset, that drives them to fight for the good of others. Beowulf is the perfect representation of a hero, based on multiple characteristics that he displays throughout the novel. Along with his characteristics, Beowulf also takes on many “hero like” challenges and tasks. In the novel, Beowulf is praised and admired throughout the kingdom for his bravery, humility, and selflessness.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, written by an anonymous fourteenth-century poet in Northern dialect, combines two plots: "the beheading contest, in which two parties agree to an exchange of the blows with a sword or ax, and the temptation, an attempted seduction of the hero by a lady" (Norton p.200). The Green Knight, depicted as a green giant with supernatural powers, disrespectfully rides into King Arthur's court and challenges the king to a Christmas game -- a beheading contest. Sir Gawain, a young, brave and loyal knight of the Round Table, acting according to the chivalric code, takes over the challenge his lord has accepted. The contest states that Sir Gawain is to chop off the Green Knight's head, and in one year and a day, the antagonist is to do the same to the hero. The whole poem is constructed in a way that leads the reader through the challenges that Sir Gawain faces -- the tests for honesty, courtesy, truthfulness.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the greatest fourteenth century text. It was written by an unknown author between 1375 and 1400. The story begins at Christmas time, and there are many symbolic elements. The Green Knight is a color which symbolizes Christmas. Also, changing seasons and the coming of winter symbolize the passing of life and reminds us that Death is unavoidable.
The Poet’s Quiet Attack Throughout modern and ancient literature, much has been discussed about the culture of knightly chivalry, particularly that of King Arthur’s Court. Some of these pieces praise the principles of this culture, while some seek to critique or attack them. One example of the latter is the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by an author known as the Pearl Poet. In this 14th century classic, popular views on knighthood are challenged by the testing of a knights virtues. In a subtle attack on the romanticism of knighthood, the Pearl Poet exposes the flaws, fallacies, and falsehoods of chivalry through the characteristics and experiences of Sir Gawain.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - lines 491-565 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the greatest 14th century text. The poem is made up of two stories, one (the testing at Bercilak's castle) set inside the other (the beheading of the Green Knight at the beginning and the return blow at the end). The unknown author describes in the poem adventure of the brave and courageous Sir Gawain who challenges the Green Knight. The passage that starts Part II of the poem illustrates the feast given to honor Sir Gawain for his bravery and courage after he meets the first challenge of the Green Knight. All knights present at the Round Table celebrate this great event and have a lot of fun after drinking: "Gawain was glad to begin those games in hall, /But if the end be harsher, hold it no wonder, /For though men are merry in mind after much drink" (Norton, p. 212).
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a Middle English romance poem written by an anonymous West Midlands poet also credited with a lot of other poems written during that time. The protagonist, Sir Gawain, survives two tests: a challenge, which he alone without the assistance of King Arthur's knights accepts, to behead the fearsome Green Knight and to let him retaliate a year later at the distant Green Chapel; and the temptation to commit adultery with the wife of Lord Bercilak--in reality the Green Knight--in whose castle he stays in en route to the chapel. This story is emblematic of life; how it issues tests and challenges and the consequences rendered as a result of failing or succeeding these challenges. Sir Gawain is a very symbolic character; symbolic in the sense that he represents innocence in life. He was not afraid to accept a challenge because it meant saving the kingdom from the affects of anarchy as a result of not having a king.