Characteristics Of A Hero In Beowulf And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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"Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked" (Beowulf lines 572-573). Courage, bravery and honesty are all attributes that make a good hero; the definition of hero may have minutely changed over time but the overall idea will alway be the same. In Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the hero has all of these qualities. They are not only kind and loyal to their people and others, but they also show dominance and prove they are worthy of the title “hero.” Beowulf and Sir Gawain have all the characteristics of a good hero as well as the flaws that accompany most heroes. When the poem began, Sir Gawain was willing to die for his honor and bravery, and he knew what his fate would be as a knight. He thought …show more content…
He was also willing to die and fight for people whom he respected but did not know well. By the end of the poem, Beowulf has grown wise and is a humble warrior. He is still confident in his ability to kill the dragon, but his reason for fighting by the end of the book reflects his found humility. “I would rather not use a weapon… and make good my boast as I did against Grendel in days gone by… so I go forth n the mail-shirt and shield” (lines 2518-2524). When he was fighting Grendel, he did not wear chain-mail or have a shield. He knew he had limits and had to change accordingly. Because of all these events, he had grown stronger. He was named a hero for many reasons and several include his willingness to fight and conquer. He swam for hours to the bottom of a lake to kill Grendel’s mother. He went after her to defeat her so the Danes did not have to …show more content…
They were both loyal, knew their strengths and were proud of their accomplishments. Humbled throughout the poems, both characters faced some sort of down fall or realization that that they should be more grateful and realize the triumphs they have both accomplished. The main idea of a hero has changed from Beowulf to Sir Gawain. Both poems are placed in different setting and time period. Beowulf was named a hero because of his strength and bravery, and he strictly followed his warrior code. He was also not fearful of death. Sir Gawain lived by the chivalry code. He swore by it, and he showed that he would truly live it out by not sleeping with the queen. He could never say no to a lady’s request, but he could never shame a women either. Sir Gawain achieved both and that seemed impossible at the time. “They both face and stand up to the insurmountable odds, the great challenges: Beowulf and the dragon, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and the dragon and the Green Knight are represented the huge and supernatural power”

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