Beowulf and Sir Gawain have many things in common. We will be
discussing them later on, but their main similarity is that they're
both heroes. A hero is a person who must pass through a test and a
battle (mental, spiritual or physical) to help someone else. He must
be selfless, and act for others rather than himself. All societies
have supported heroes, like the ancient Greek's Hercules and the
modern day Spiderman. These are hero stereotypes, with supernatural
powers. Heroes don't have to be stereotypes, but can be firemen,
policemen or soldiers. Two famous heroes in ancient literature are
Beowulf and Sir Gawain.
Beowulf is about a guard who must destroy a destructive monster who
has eaten many of Beowulf's fellow guards. When the monster tries to
grab Beowulf, Beowulf clutches his arm, squeezes it, until the
monsters hand falls off, & than the monster runs away. Sir Gawain
starts with a Christmas banquet, but rudely a green knight bursts in
and challenges Gawain to cut off his head. After doing this, the green
knight is amazingly unhurt and Gawain is told to return the blow in a
year. After a year sir Gawain sets out for the green knight. On the
way he stays at a palace. For two nights he is tempted by the master's
wife, but resists. In the third night he gives in. Than he sets off to
the green knight. After seeking out the Green knight he realizes the
temptation was just a test of his nobility and he feels ashamed that
he gave in to temptation. He returns to Camelot.
Beowulf is a Danish man, who is a guard for the kings' hall, Hereot.
Sir Gawain is an English man, and a knight of the round table. Both
work for important people, King Hrothgar and King Arthur. Both men
also have a great power. Beowulf has supernatural physical strength,
and Sir Gawain has moral strength.
Beowulf's test is to defeat the evil creature Grendel, protecting his
hall and soldiers. Sir Gawain's test is to resist temptation to steal
a magic belt, and steal the master's wife! Even though both tests are
different, Beowulf's test and Gawain's test both test courage. The
courage to take on a monster and the courage to resist stealing and
keeping you're word! In the end, both succeeded, Grendel was killed,
and sir Gawain received his blow, and stayed alive, but both had
consequences. Beowulf's friends got killed, and later on Grendel's
mother attacks him, and sir Gawain had been given a cut to his neck,
and lost his honor.
The test the heroes have to face, is often put up by a villain, and
both have their fair share of villains. In Beowulf the enemy is a dark
monster, which eats human and has super-strength, enough to bend iron.
In Sir Gawain, the apparent villain is the green knight, who
challenges sir Gawain to a grueling...