Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Comparison Essay

1372 Words 6 Pages
Mitchell Showalter
Honr. 202
October 30, 2016
Critical Essay
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,
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Most of these characteristics stem from the cultures that they come from, medieval Scandinavia and medieval England, where the warrior principles are praised. Although they both consider themselves warriors, they have different ideas of what it means to be a warrior. Sir Gawain follows the chivalric code of conduct that most knights would follow during these times. This would include acts that honor your lord, your God, and your people. This is similar to the tradition that Beowulf which is similar to that of a viking. We see that Beowulf fights for the honor of his lord, his Gods, and his people throughout the story. Both heroes believe that their honorable deeds will make them immortal through the actions of their Gods, but the major difference between them is how they achieve their honorable …show more content…
Sir Gawain is courteous, pious, and serving of his lord. In contrast, though, he is always trying to atone for his misdeeds and his sins. His primary sin, which he attempts to hide from, is that of sexual passion. It is this passion that gets him in trouble and brings him down to reality. Because of this reality check, Sir Gawain is able to show some of his own flaws and even create a connection with the audience. While there are really never any physical threats that Sir Gawain must face, the author creates the threat of one’s moral character, which are seen as serious as any physical danger. As we mature, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight suggests that we must wage our own war with a constant struggle against the forces that wish to lead us

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