Beowulf In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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In Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the protagonist are portrayed as heroes in

their poem. In Beowulf, a man comes from a neighboring land to help a distressed kingdom. When he comes to the kingdom he defeats two monsters, Grendel and Grendel’s Mother. Later, he becomes king and then fights another monster. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a green knight challenges King Arthur or any other brave man to a game. Sir Gawain accepts the challenge in place of his king. The Green Knight tells the knight to meet him at a specified place and time so he can finish the other half of the challenge. Later, Sir Gawain leaves to keep his promise and is successful in the end. Beowulf is the better hero because he puts everyone else ahead of himself.

In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Gawain is the lesser hero because he is only motivated by duty. King Arthur has agreed to the Green Knight's challenge however Sir Gawain intervened in the dealing. Gawain states, "I am the weakest of your warriors and the feeblest of wit; loss of my life would be least lamented. Were I not your nephew my life would mean nothing; to be born of your blood is my body's only claim." (lns. 354-357). Gawain states that he is a weak warrior meaning that he is bad in battle.
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Marshall discusses why Beowulf decides to fight the dragon. He mentions that Beowulf's decision to battle the dragon is motivated by his people's survival. He argues, “Consequently, his decision to fight the dragon for his treasure for himself rather his decision to fight stems once again from love for his people.”(5). The critic states that Beowulf does not want the treasure for himself, but for his people. Marshall's discussion of Beowulf's duel with the dragon demonstrates that Beowulf is selfless in his pursuit of
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