The Tales : The Wife Of Bath 's Tale, And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

The Tales : The Wife Of Bath 's Tale, And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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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 men go to fight the dragon because Beowulf wants to secure the treasure so that his kingdom will have wealth and prosperity after his death. When they fight his men are overcome with personal greed of the treasure and are foolish in battle and die. Beowulf then fights the dragon single-handedly, killing it, but getting himself killed in the process. The author of Beowulf portrays the societal values of honor and bravery through this plot. Beowulf goes to try and defeat Grendel because, as Hrothgar explains and gives background to it, “I brought the end to Edgetho’s (Beowulf’s father) quarrel, sent ancient treasures through the ocean’s furrows to the Wulfings” (Beowulf 204-206). He was being honorable by repaying the debt that his father owed to Hrothgor. Honor and keeping promises was an important part of Anglo-Saxon society and were an important part of their warrior code. The author of Beowulf also portrays the societal value of bravery in the story. The original thought of going to...

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...sted the care of the castle to Sir Gawain. Each day when the king would return, they would exchange what was given to them. Sir Gawain did this every day except for the day that he got the sash from the queen. He kept this a secret because of greed and wanting to protect his life. The Green Knight comments of Sir Gawain, “a man who’s true to his word, there’s nothing he needs to fear” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 346-347). He also comments that “you’re the finest man that ever walked the earth, as a pearl is of greater price than dry white peas, so Gawain indeed stands out above all knights” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 355-357). Sir Gawain exhibits honor, honor which is expected and respected among all knights. The authors off all the stories not only used plot to depict societal values, but also used the theme of the stories to depict societal values.

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