During the Medieval times chivalry was one of the most important characteristics a knight could display. Chivalry was viewed as a moral obligation that involved bravery, honor, respect, and gallantry. Knights were expected to uphold this code or face social consequences for any infractions, with punishments ranging from humiliation to termination of their knighthood. “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” presents the struggles knights faced with honoring the chivalrous code at all times. Sir Gawain, while imperfect, exhibits qualities expected of knights and embodies the internal struggle between honoring the chivalrous code and giving into selfish desires.
Fault and redemption. What do these two words really do in our lives? Do they give us another chance or are they just concepts that we want to follow? In the world we live in, one fault can often make or break something in our lives, but when granted with redemption, we don’t always take it as seriously as needed and soon our fault becomes someone else’s pride. Sir Gawain’s faults can be a constant reminder of the mistakes we all make as humans along with the quote, “It is clear then that there can be no redemption without fault, just as one is unable to return from exile without first being sent into one. One’s worth is only so much greater after a return from a fall, since if one is flawless, one has nothing to gain and therefore nothing
Everyone has a perspective on good and evil; the battle line between good and even runs through the heart. “Beowulf” illuminates characters that come from dark and deep backgrounds that construct their dauntless actions. In the heroic tale “Beowulf,” the author’s tones strongly demonstrates themes of loyalty, honor, and courage.
In the Pearl Poet’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an epic story emerges to reveal a man’s journey of honor, honesty, valor, and loyalty. Throughout Gawain’s adventures in the poem, he discovers and demonstrates his own chivalric qualities. Although he makes a few mistakes along the way he strives to be an honorable man.
In today’s society, anybody can be considered a hero. A hero is a selfless person who is admired for their courageous achievements. A mother, celebrity, or even a mailman can be a hero to someone. In Beowulf, the epic poem translated by Burton Raffel, Beowulf is recognized as a hero who craves too much glory. In today’s world, Beowulf is viewed as an irrelevant hero since he displays poor qualities of arrogance and selfishness.
The epic poem “Beowulf”, translated by Burton Raffel, focuses on a hero by the name of Beowulf who goes on a quest to rescue King Hrothgar and his people from an egregious monster by the name of Grendel. This Anglo-Saxon tale gives insight into the values and beliefs of the people from whom the story originated. Their war-centered ideology and views on loyalty and courage were the principles that the Anglo-Saxon culture was founded upon. While warfare was a focal point in their lifestyle, it was far from a savage, barbaric state of fighting. Honor and prestige were bestowed upon those who died during battle and selflessness for fellow warriors was a fundamental belief. Boasting and self-possession were another common custom of the Anglo-Saxons. (“Anglo-Saxon Warfare Group”). Beowulf represents a quintessential Anglo-Saxon hero through his confident poise, his willingness for self-sacrifice, and his tenacity through near-impossible odds.
Beowulf is known as a great hero and on the surface he is. He seems to be brave and just but underneath that, Beowulf is extremely arrogant and egotistical. Beowulf does not just do things for they are the right thing to do, he does them seeing that great deeds will bring him honor and boost his reputation. He fights Grendel for bragging rights like the swimming contest Unferth brought up and he refuses to use a sword when fighting Grendel because it will just add to his bravery. Even if we take into the time period in which it was written, Beowulf is not the shining hero he
Throughout Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, we see many places where redemption and self-worth are extremely important to the plot. Redemption is the act of failing and falling, but getting back up again, time after time. Gawain fails to meet this in many parts of the story, including bad bets, trying to believe he was faultless, and, most importantly, blaming others for things he himself did. While the act of redemption is very real, Sir Gawain does not showcase this.
Beowulf’s honor and integrity can be questioned throughout the entirety of the epic poem, Beowulf. Whether or not his actions are inspired by his own pompous arrogance or confidence, one can argue that he is a hero nonetheless. Evidence and experience prove that Beowulf is more of a fearless hero than an excessively prideful man, and his hubris is more than justified due to the formidable duties he is able to execute.
Often in stories, a character's integrity is tested by trials or temptations. In “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” we see Gawain’s integrity tested from the beginning of the story to the end. Nevertheless, he always remained faithful and loyal to the challenge that is given to him. We also see how Splendid the Green Knight views Gawain on the initial challenge and in the final challenge.
Beowulf had done the unthinkable—he had killed a demon that no warrior of Denmark could have done. This opened several new doors for Beowulf, including one that promised of honor, glory, and riches. Beowulf had achieved his goal of fame, a goal which had created a poem of a hero that birthed and shaped a story to be told even years later. Furthermore, Beowulf’s fame was set in stone by Hrothgar, the king who owed Beowulf his everything, including his thanks. After giving Beowulf the speech to further glorify his prominence, Hrothgar declares, “Glory is now yours/ Forever and ever; your courage has earned it,/ And your strength” (953-956). Beowulf’s life had been remolded by his victory, building a story beyond his
The Green Girdle , as it appears in the story , can represent a lot of things , depending on the reader’s comprehension of the text . It can be seen as a symbol of shame , a magic talisman , a gift for courage , temptation , failure or human nature.
Beginning and ending with references to Troy, the poet of Gawain and the Green Knight, foreshadows the narrative with the paradox of failure being framed as greatness. Starting the poem with a discussion of the fall of Troy, speaks to the destined failure of Gawain and his quest, both literally and figuratively. Ending the poem with a reference to Troy’s greatness, presents the paradox of a fallen city, and with an army that lost the war, but, is still hailed as great.