Sir Gawain Lit. Analysis In the Pearl Poet’s poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, we get a taste of what living by the chivalric code was like. The chivalric code was a list of standards which a knight was to live up to and, Sir Gawain does not fall short of doing just that. Sir Gawain upholds the chivalric code by proving his chivalry, piety, and chasity. Chivalry has many features that shape a knight, however the virtues that Sir Gawain presents the most are courage and honesty.
Beowulf embodies the characteristics of a hero: bravery, physical power, more than the average human. Although well aware of facing death, the characteristics of bravery was demonstrated in Beowulf as he was eager to defeat Grendel “I shall show the strength and boldness of Geats giving him battle” (p.44, 39-40). Beowulf has proven his strength and bravery which allows him to boast being a hero. When he gets older, Beowulf’s courage and commitment to his country is still intact. Eager was Beowulf in his quest but timid, scared was the cross.
In The Iliad, a real hero is brave and must not stand down, but also be victorious and willing to fight for his land. Paris offered to fight himself to not cause his innocent men to be killed, and Achilles actually won to bring justice to his dead friend Patroclus. In reality, none of these two men are the hero. Clearly, both men were being brave and killed many men, but it is not just about being the strongest and courageous. For the Iliad, there is a heroic code that a character must complete all of the guidelines to it to be considered a hero.
He is an epic hero which means he had to face a low point. However, the low point does not define the hero, the action and recovery to the low point is what defines the hero. Knowledge of the future can cloud the judgement of even the most intelligent people. Odysseus makes his decision and he has to face the consequences and deal with the grief of losing his men in a tragic way. He learns that his actions can determine the life of others, or at least how they live their final days.
The Samurai’s obligations were only to his lord, while the knight’s obligation was to his lord, his chosen lady, and his heavenly lord as well. The knight’s code also required him to show great humility. This was expected not only to his lord and lady, but everyone he encountered even his enemies. Rituals were also involved in both code, being more heavily influenced in Bushido. The aspect of the Bushido code is that if they ever retreated from battle, they would commit ritualistic suicide as a way to avoid dishonor and defeat.
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 possessed the trait of self-assurance, almost to the point of hubris.
The Anglo-Saxons were a complicated people with an even more complicated society but they are nonetheless a very interesting people’s. Beowulf swiftly implied since the beginning that “courage” is the ultimate form of “greatness”(“shmoop”). Bravery and heroism comes first in the Anglo-Saxon culture because they used it to prove how worthy they were of power and if they didn’t show it they feared that they would be punished or shunned this can be shown when I Beowulf it is stated that “ Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked.” Beowulf shows courage and bravery when he fights Grendel by ripping Grendel’s arm off with his bare hands knowing he could die while trying to do this. As stated by Axel Lazno “Everything Beowulf does is a direct link to courage. Beowulf is a perfect example of an
After reading and analyzing both Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I received multiple perspectives of a “hero” and what that word meant during these time periods. Therefore, in both stories, it was evident that in order to be considered a hero during this time one had to be selfless and loyal to the king/crown by sacrificing oneself to maintain the tranquility within their kingdom. Nonetheless, in terms of Beowulf, I considered both the protagonist, Beowulf, and one of his warriors, Wiglaf, to be heroic individuals who portrayed all the necessary characteristics one must acquire to be considered a hero during this century. This was because Beowulf numerously sacrificed himself to protect King Hrothgar’s kingdom, when he battled
Many believe that “that heroism comes naturally to some, and others can learn altruism using methods such as compassion” (Banham 312). Most heroes are commonly described as handsome and strong, almost as if they look like a God; and because of that, some are even treated as if they are royalty. Unfortunately, some heroes abuse their fame and are overtaken with self-pride or hubris. Even though both protagonists in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf vary in personality, both characters are defined as heroes based on their heroic deeds. In the story Beowulf, the hero is described as a leader who risks his life for the good of his people and kingdom, someone who shows bravery, strength, and exemplifies a great amount of generosity and love for his people.
Clearly, the code of chivalry clarifies that one of the knights needs to venture up to keep his honor and secure the King and his court. After the mockery of King Arthur 's court by the Green Knight, one of the knights clearly needs to approach to keep their pride and to spare the name of King Arthur 's court. The bravery to approach is one of the characteristics of the code of chivalry of the knights (L-311, 315). Another occasion of the Sir Gawain 's honor is his humility and humbleness demonstrates when he obtusely expresses his shortcomings and that he has just made it where he has in the court since he is King Arthur 's nephew. Sir Gawain 's unobtrusiveness likewise helps he must keep the court from dishonor.