Analysis Of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay

1955 Words Oct 19th, 2016 8 Pages
Heroes in literary works have often represented the values of their cultures. The hero 's success and shortcomings on the quest help to illustrate the emergence of their cultural values. While progressing through the hero 's quest, the reader obtains a better understanding of the ideology and actions of the era. In the Anglo-Saxon period, for instance, honor defined how great someone or something is . Likewise, the Middle English narrative poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight reflects this continuation in cultural values .These works embody the belief that maintaining of honor of their respective houses is of utmost importance, but the concept of honor begins to shift.
At the onset of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight both heroes heed the call to elevate and preserve the honor of their respective houses. In Beowulf, Beowulf sees the opportunity to acquire more honor for king hygelac’s realm but more importantly for himself. The speaker states, “ I have heard moreover that the monster scorns in his reckless way to use weapons; therefore, to heighten Hygelac 's fame and gladden his heart, I hereby renounce sword and the shelter of the broad shield,the heavy war-board: hand-to-hand is how it will be, a life-and-death with the fiend.” (Heaney 31) The reader can see that Beowulf is trying to justify his thirst to acquire more honor for himself by telling Hrothgar that he will not use weapons but in reality he is trying to bring more fame to himself. In Sir Gawain and…

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