Heroism In Beowulf, Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

737 Words 3 Pages
Back then, people believed that a hero was someone who had high ambitions and would never desert an opportunity to gain glory. Actions like this had extreme significance because glory and honor meant everything to a person with Pagan beliefs. Out of the many applicable characters presented in the three pieces of literature, Beowulf, The Iliad, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, only one figure best fits this description. He is a man with a daring personality and always strives to win whatever battle he places himself in. Beowulf best portrays the concept of heroism due to his courage and his willingness to travel to foreign lands. It takes a great deal of bravery to confront the savage Grendel and not one soul dared oppose this beast in …show more content…
When rumors of Grendel reach him, Beowulf automatically sets off to venture to the Danes and challenge this monster. He “…quickly commanded a boat fitted out, proclaiming he’d go to that famous king” (Beowulf Line 112-13). This is evidence of how enthusiastic Beowulf is to defend the helpless Danes. He also travels to Grendel’s mother’s home to complete his task. Beowulf could have easily refused to do this since he only came to confront Grendel, not his mother. Beowulf had fought her in a foreign location and was the victor in the conflict. “He leaped into the lake…sank through the waves” (Beowulf Line 450-2). Beowulf’s commitment to finishing the job is also what makes him an excellent …show more content…
Although Sir Gawain is not superhuman like Achilles and Beowulf, he still proves himself to be a worthy hero when he “…leaves on his quest to find the Green Chapel and fulfill his pledge” (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Line 201-202). The man could have chosen to go back on his word because one does not know what could happen in a foreign location. In addition to this, Achilles, himself, is also a hero when he decides to give Hector’s corpse back to his desperate father. After experiencing the death of his best friend, one cannot blame Achilles for refusing to return the body. However, Achilles chooses to do just that. This is verified when Achilles said, “I have intended…to yield Hector to you” (The Iliad Line 385-6). These men can be considered as valuable heroes based on their

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