The Importance Of Heroism In Sir Gawain

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When one thinks of a hero they normally imagine a famous athlete or a movie star, but it’s not always about one’s popularity, it can also be because of how they help society. A hero is a person or protagonist included in a literary work who, when put in front of danger withstands adversity by being brave and resourceful, often sacrificing their well-being for the good of their people. Overcoming obstacles may be one of the biggest difficulties that people face, just because of the fact that many simply quit when life gets hard. A person becomes a hero when they are able to overcome these difficulties and accomplish the tasks that are presented to them. Some believe that “that heroism comes naturally to some, and others can learn altruism using …show more content…
Due to these values which are instilled in Sir Gawain, he is one of King Arthur’s most respected and loved knight. All of these qualities are proved to be true when he takes the Green Knight’s challenge on behalf of King Arthur and Camelot. One night a mysterious green man comes to Arthur’s table and proposes a game by offering a challenge to the court in a brash and rude way. The Green Knight is referred to as a ghostly creature because of his magical qualities such as his green skin tone, and his odd ability to live without a head. The weird part about this is that the man says that he comes in peace, yet he comes with a frightening green axe. The challenge that the Green Knight offers is as follows: any knight whom is brave enough to strike the green man’s neck with his monstrous axe may keep the weapon, but they must accept a strike in return in precisely one year and a day. Sir Gawain takes the challenge because he believes that he is " the weakest of Arthur’s knights, he knows, and the dull-minded, so his death would be the least loss, if truth should be told; only because Arthur is his uncle" (354 - 357). This line proves that Sir Gawain is brave but taking this challenge might have been a mistake on his behalf. Throughout this story Sir Gawain’s qualities are tested by Lord Bertikack’s wife; whose husband is a king that Sir Gawain takes rest in his home. …show more content…
Sir Gawain takes the Green Knights challenge so that he can protect his king and the kingdom out of the good of his heart. He doesn’t do this for fame, instead he strikes the green man’s neck so that he can be brave and stand up for his people. Gawain displays his honorable qualities when he “publicly defines himself through kinship, telling Arthur that he is praiseworthy, only for as much as Arthur is” (Schiff 81). On the other hand, Beowulf fights all of his battles for his own personal gain. This is what makes the two characters so different. Even though both are as heroic as one another, they have different motivations for fighting their battles. Sir Gawain and Beowulf are both brave and courageous, but they have different reasonings for being brave. Beowulf is only seeking battles so that he gains more fame for himself; dissimilarly, Sir Gawain chooses to fight battles when he knows that he must protect someone. Sir Gawain is more than a protagonist in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, he is a character that proves that you can make mistakes and still be heroic. This is another reason why Beowulf and Sir Gawain are different. Their beliefs about what makes a true hero, and a good knight are completely different. Beowulf believes that heroes must do everything on their own and they cannot lose a battle, Beowulf on the

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