This Essay Is Based On Heroism Found In The Epic Poems "Beowulf" And "Sir Gawain And The "Green Knight"

1186 words - 5 pages

In "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and "Beowulf," we encounter single heroic men, under a great king on an adventurous quest for recognition, and honor. Hard to imagine that though so much alike, they differ in category. "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," contains very similar aspects of an epic poem, which creates vast similarities between sir Gawain and Beowulf. Both of the famous writings entwine lineage, the warrior code, and mysticism to enhance the adventures of our heroes.There are many examples that emphasize the similarities, but the first aspect of both these stories that was recognized was lineage. In the epic as we will call it King Arthur and his kin are brought out to be the decedents of the great and treacherous knight Aeneas. Though "King Arthur was counted most courteous of all, (25-6)"kings his lineage is brought out to be from ancient Rome. Sir Gawain is the king's nephew and one of his most trusted knights, and at the feast sits with the king at his table with only a few other knights, which indicates his closeness to the king and queen. Later on we find out that it is actually Sir Gawain's aunt, Morgan Le Faye (Arthur's half-sister) that has fixed to test the honor and authenticity of the round table and Arthur's court. By having the Green Knight (Bercilak) play the beheading game with Sir Gawain, she is able to observe her objective.Beowulf, is also King Hygelac's nephew, and we learn that when Hygelac's son, Heardred dies Beowulf becomes king. But in the beginning of the epic, Beowulf mainly goes to help the Dane's king Hrothgar, due to a favor that Hrothgar had once done for Beowulf's father, and for the sake of recognition. This like many other instances can be compared to Sir Gawain, in which they (Sir Gawain and Beowulf) are thrust into certain adventures due to loyalty to their kings and loyalty to their name in a sense, their renowned fame, their lineage to great warriors which they much not let down.The second aspect of these epics that are similar are the warrior codes, loyalty, honor, courage, respect, noble cause, wealth, modesty, and dignity. When Sir Gawain, takes the kings place in chopping the Green Knight's head, he is acting out of loyalty to his king. Modestly stating that he is the weakest of the knights, courageously stepping before the Green Knight and accepting his challenge. But his honor is jeopardized by Bercilak as he tells Gawain to sleep in while he is hunting, and Bercilak's wife steps in and plays the "temptress (1874)." Gawain wins by not succumbing but by the third day he is caught off guard and gave into accepting the green girdle. And accepting of that was not for love or desire but for the fact that he was told it would keep him safe from death. His courage and loyalty is also tested when he is heading to the Green Chapel and the guide begs him not to go, because the Green Knight will kill him but he ignores the pleas, and keeps his word. This Bercilak / the Green Knight recognizes when...

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