Essay about Comparing Beowulf And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight
October 30, 2016
When reading both Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, it becomes evident that the two heroes center themselves around different values. Beowulf focuses on pride, strength, and his own mortality; Sir Gawain focuses on respect, principles, and servitude. Although it may look like they have differing outlooks, their stories share many similarities within their themes.
When comparing the two characters, we see that they both possess differing conflicts. Beowulf 's most important conflicts are with demons and monsters, emphasizing that he is a heroic defender of humanity, rather than just one more strong-armed medieval warrior. Through the course of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Sir Gawain’s character undergoes conflicts in a moral manner, as he must deny seduction and also fulfill his oath of knightly duty to the Green Knight. The two contrasting conflicts that our heroes go through can be seen as a reflection of the cultures that they both come from.
To the Scandinavian culture, Beowulf is about the conflict between a courageous, mighty, loyal warrior and the demons and dragons of hell itself. The forces of good battle the forces of evil again and again, knowing that one day they will be defeated. The morality of "good" in Beowulf, however, is defined by the warrior’s strength and their will to serve their people, while "evil" is simply the demonic creatures that murder the people. To the Anglo-Saxon…