Societal Values In Beowulf

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In Beowulf, Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath’s Tale, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the authors portray societal values through the development of plot. In Beowulf, Beowulf journeys to Hrothgar’s kingdom. He comes because a monster, Grendel, has been destroying parts of their village and killing their men. Beowulf also comes to repay a debt that is owed to Hrothgar for saving his father and his father’s army. When Beowulf arrives, he boasts to Hrothgar and Hrothgar says that he is allowed to try and defeat the monster. Beowulf fights with Grendel and wins. Soon, Grendel’s mother comes to destroy Beowulf. Beowulf fights her in a long, drawn-out battle and wins. Beowulf grows old and becomes king of the Geats and then he and his…show more content…
Showing he learned his lesson, he responds with “My lady and my love, my dearest wife, I leave the matter to your wise decision” (Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath’s Tale 406-407). He demonstrates that he learned his lesson, giving his wife and equal, if not more powerful, say. With that response, he is rewarded with a beautiful, young, and loyal wife. Finally, the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Pearl Poet, uses plot to display societal values. 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. Sir Gawain ventures out and on his way comes to a castle. Here he and the king of the castle exchange everyday what they received, the king from the hunt, and Sir Gawain from the queen. This is secretly a test by the Green Knight. Sir Gawain is tested and tempted by the queen but he…show more content…
The Green Knight then reveals to him how it was all a test and tell Sir Gawain that he truly if a very good knight. The Pearl Poet displays the societal values of bravery and honor through this plot. After King Arthur accepts the Green Knight’s challenge, Sir Gawain speaks up saying, “I beseech you, Sire, let this game be mine” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 123-124). Sir Gawain displays bravery by accepting what is viewed by the knights as certain death. The game the Green Knight wishes to play would bring any player to their deaths. Because of this, Sir Gawain accepts the challenge instead of King Arthur. If King Arthur was killed, there would be no one to rule his kingdom. This kind of bravery was highly regarded for knights and expected of them. After Sir Gawain took his swing against the Green Knight and the Green Knight survives despite losing his head, Sir Gawain must keep up his end of the deal by going to have his head chopped off. He displays his honor by not only keeping up his end of the deal, but by his actions at the castle. On his journey, Sir Gawain encountered a castle. The king of the castle was going on hunting trips. He entrusted the care of the castle to Sir Gawain. Each
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