Sir Gawain And Beowulf Comparison

879 Words 4 Pages
In Beowulf, the titular character offers to take on Grendel by himself with no weaponry in an act of bravery. Bravery has been a trait long revered since the early history of heroic literature, in real-life bravery is not something so easily exhibited by most people as they are fearful but superheroes are idealizations. Superheroes are products of the society they derive from and when the society evolves as does the hero, they represent the moral and beliefs of that society and they show a timeline of society's values throughout history as such with Beowulf, Gawain and modern heroes being representations of their societies.
One of the earliest representations of heroes in literature is Beowulf, he exemplifies the society in which he derives
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One of the obvious differences between them is that Gawain is extremely righteous especially compared to Beowulf. While on his journey to see the Green Knight, Gawain stays at the castle of Lord Bertilak and his wife attempts to seduce him, he remains chaste and refuses to sleep with her as to not commit adultery. Religion is a huge staple in the knights of the round table since it was just shortly after the Black Plague had killed 60% of the population of Europe, so they thought that it was a punishment from God. Beowulf is not concerned with with sin as the Norse religion mentions nothing of the sort. Sleeping with a married woman is no issue for him and he wouldn’t see it as an issue nor expect punishment for committing the act. Gawain fears punishment from God if he does not remain virtuous and damage to his reputation. Additionally Gawain is extremely repentant towards the end of the story, he feels guilty for not being the perfect chivalrous knight, “ ‘There, there’s my fault! The foul fiend cex it! Foolish cowardice taught, from fear of your stroke, to bargain, covetous, and abandon my kind,The selflessness and loyalty in suitable in knights; Here I stand, faulty and false, much as I’ve feared them...I can’t deny my guilt…” (Gawain and the Green Knight; 219-226) Gawain feels as though he committed an unforgivable crime for not being entirely honest. Beowulf is not at all remorseful he feels no guilt as Anglo-Saxons weren’t concerned with repentance they constantly pillaged other villages and engaged in war so there was no time for repentance when you were always fighting with each other. Finally while there are characteristic differences between Gawain and Beowulf some of their traits are the same, Bravery is one such trait that is the same between them, When

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