Compare And Contrast Beowulf And King Arthur

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In order to obtain maximum respect in each conflict, both Beowulf and Arthur enter into battle somewhat alone. Beowulf specifically asks, "That he, alone and with the help of his men, may purge all evil from the hall." His request is granted by Hrothgar, King of the Danes, so he and his man enter into the battle themselves so that when Grendel is defeated, the glory, love and respect belong solely to Beowulf and his men. Arthur does the same, "he met with his man and his horse, and so mounted up and dressed his shield and took his spear, and bade his chamberlain tarry there till he came again." Although Arthur begins his journey alone he does meet up with Merlin, the court magician and faithful companion, who accompanies him. Much like Beowulf, Arthur gains great respect and praise from his people by fighting alone, even though it is not necessarily the smartest thing to do.

The characteristic of being fearless when faced with death is often a trait of heroes because it is associated with courage and strength. King Arthur and Beowulf are not afraid to die, thus showing their courage to their adversaries and followers.
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Since Grendel is going to fight without the use of weapons, Beowulf creates equality and therefore earns himself even more respect by doing the same. The less confident King Arthur on the other hand fights only with weapons. Once his wounds were amended his first thought was, "I have no sword," followed by the task of finding him one. This demonstrates Arthur's relative weakness in his dependence on weapons when held in comparison to Beowulf's willingness to fight a creature greater than himself with nothing but his bare hands. It is this that I feel best illustrates Beowulf's
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