Sunday, December 29, 2019

Pride in Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Essay

Literature in rich in stories where the pride of the otherwise flawless hero inevitably becomes their Achilles heel. While pride in medieval culture sometimes had negative connotations, it was an aspect that was necessary for power and survival. In looking at two influential works from Old English and Middle English, Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, respectively, we begin to understand the importance and the context of pride in those times. Although distanced by hundreds of years, the Old English epic poem Beowulf and the Middle English verse of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are similar within the context of pride. And as much as they are similar in this respect, they are also some very important differences in the way†¦show more content†¦If you were to boast, you had to prove yourself on the battlefield, but always with an acknowledgement to God. Beowulf seems almost too eager to take on the challenge of finding and killing Grendel, for once he hears about the terrible beast he rounds up his best men to take the journey to save Herot.. He is not directly challenged to come and kill the beast; so none of his honor or reputation is put to the test. Rather, in his foolish youthful pride, he responds to the challenge of his own free will. He is definitely the right person for the task, but his zealous nature is a foreboding element of what will eventually be his downfall. This eager nature to take on the chall enge is also present early on in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. When confronted by the Green Knight, Gawain steps forward to accept his challenge, even though he claims to be â€Å"the weakest, well I know, and of wit feeblest; And the loss of my life would be least of any†¦Ã¢â‚¬  This undermining of his own pride and honor does not stem from a lack of it, but rather as recognition of the rules and conduct of the court. In the court of King Arthur, the way that one behaves must not be considered boasting, as this was thought to be arrogant and rude. Pride was kept in check by the code of chivalry. For all their foolish pride and hubris early on, both Beowulf and Gawain are humbled by the time their stories have ended. For Beowulf, he comes to terms with his own pride as he growsShow MoreRelatedLiterary Analysis Of Sir Gawain And The Green Knight1200 Words   |  5 Pagestheir journeys and the knowledge they gain by the quest’s end. For example, in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a chivalric romance written in the Late Middle Ages, Gawain epitomizes a knight with the characteristics that knights from the Late Middle Ages were expected to possess according to the requirements outlined in the rules of chivalry, such as honor and valor. Likewise, Beowulf, the hero of the folk epic Beowulf, embodies the qualities of an exemplary hero as well as king. Therefore, in bothRead MoreThe Cultural Values And The Archetypal Patterns Of The Novel Hero With A Thousand Faces 1331 Words   |  6 Pageslove. On that note, Sir Gawain and Beowulf both reflect the cultural values and the archetypal patterns found in Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces which are expressed throughout their communities. Even though some of the values such as valor and loyalty carried over from one time period to another, the two cultures experienced a paradigm shift from the way fighting was conducted all the way over to how women were seen and treated. Starting with the great Beowulf, a courageous man whoRead MoreOutline Of Grendel And The Green Knight1013 Words   |  5 PagesGrendel and the Green Knight I. Introduction II. Grendel’s Malicious Ways a. Why He Does What He Does b. Grendel’s Demise c. Symbol Grendel Wishes To Represent III. Green Knight’s Ways a. The Challenge at Hand b. Results of the Conflict c. Sir Gawain’s Repentance of Shame IV. The Unseen Pattern a. Beowulf’s Lesson? b. Sir Gawain’s Lesson c. Who gets more out of the Journey? V. Conclusion Russ Williams 19 September 2015 Dr. Daniel Pigg Out of Class Essay #1 Grendel and the Green Knight After goingRead MoreComparing Sir Gawain And The Green Knight And Beowulf733 Words   |  3 Pages â€Å"Faith, valor, loyalty, truth...† one can expect these virtues that comprise the Chivalric Code from an orthodox knight in the Middle Ages. The Germanic Warrior Code, on the other hand, governs the warring tribes of Norsemen. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf as translated by Simon Armitage and Seamus Heaney, the core values of the two codes are respectively personified as the two protagonists. Despite the numerous similarities between these two disciplines, they differ over the existenceRead MoreCompare And Contrast Beowulf And Sir Gawain1358 Words   |  6 PagesBeowulf and Sir Gawain are both heroes, one is a warrior who becomes a King and the other a Knight in King Arthur’s Court. Beowulf takes place in 6th century Denmark and Sweden, it was written during the Anglo-Saxon Literary Time Period. Beowulf’s journey takes place over many years. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an Arthurian romance believed to have been written in the late fourteenth century by an anonymous author (Baker). Sir Gawain’s journey takes place over one year’s time, from ChristmasRead MorePaganism In Beowulf1683 Words   |  7 Pageswithin the epic poem Beowulf is the continuous, underlying theme of good versus evil – the shift from paganism to Christianity. Although this epic consists of the battle between the hero, Beowulf, and the monster, Grendel (and Gre ndel’s mother, as well), the main overture of the story is that of the new Christian belief triumphing over evil and the old pagan beliefs. This value is but one of many that contrast the pagan and Christian principles in Anglo-Saxon and in Beowulf. The blending and cultivationRead MoreCompare and Contrast of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight600 Words   |  3 PagesCompare and Contrast of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Beowulf is an epic poem that was written in the Anglo-Saxon time period where only a few privileged people were able to read and write while Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which is also an epic poem, was written in the Middle English time period where reading and writing was more wide-spread. While both the epic poem Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight have similar protagonists, the main character of each poem also hasRead MoreAnalysis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf955 Words   |  4 Pages According to Sir Gawain and Beowulf heroic adventures, Sir Gawain has to leave his place by himself to meet the Green Knight and takes a risk on his own way as same as Beowulf who went out from his palace to beat the dragon by himself. However, their calls to the adventures contrast Sir Gawain and Beowulf heroic stories. The first decision is the most significant part of the heroic story that the protagonist has to choose either go out following the call or step away. Expectedly, every protagonistRead MoreComparing Beowulf And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight Essay1762 Words   |  8 Pagesultimately tying in with the theme of the work. Beowulf and Sir Gawain both exhibit what the Anglo-Saxons and the Middle-English viewed as both proper and improper conduct. What the reader encounters through these two characters, however, involves a paradigm shift between the two cultures, with values, fate and pride leading to demise , reflected in Beowulf contrasting with those, the knight’s code of honor and chivalry, expressed in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. These dissimilar worldviews become apparentRead MoreBeowulf and Sir Gawain: a Comparison of Two Heroes Essay1066 Words   |  5 PagesIn Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight there are two heroes that help the present day reader gain insi ght into what the hero of the Middle Ages would have held as ideals and necessary triumphs. Beowulf and Sir Gawain each fill a different role within their unique societies. Beowulf is a leader and a savior in times of need, willing to go to any length to help another group of people as well as his own kingdom. Sir Gawain is also willing to rise during moments of trouble within his court

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