The Epic Hero In Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

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What defines a true ultimate hero? Beowulf, who was an epic hero was King Hrothgar’s “saving grace” when the Danes needed it the most, or Sir Gawain, who was remarkably loyal to his king as he stepped in to defend King Arthur and his fellow knights from being ridiculed from the Green Knight and was brave enough to accept the Green Knight’s “blow for a blow in one year's time” agreement? Both of these men were the most honorable heroes of their time but are very different types of heroes. One was a man who exemplified all values of an epic hero and the other was a noble knight who values the idea of chivalry and courtesy, above all else.

The epic poem of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight is remembered by audiences around the world for the way Sir Gawain carried himself with exceptional courage and how courteous of an individual he was. Gawain showed acts of courageousness as King Arthur’s court was visited by the uninvited Green Knight and decided to complete the task which was a blow for a blow in one year’s time. Gawain used tremendous amounts of courtesy when he was the only one to volunteer out of King Arthur’s court to agree to the task given by the Green Knight. We know this because Gawain exclaims, “Such a foolish affair is unfitting for a king, so; being first to come forward,
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Gawain volunteered himself because he believed that he was the weakest the knights from Arthur’s round table we are shown just how honorable Gawain was to King Arthur when he said, “Were I not your nephew my life would mean nothing; to be born of your blood is my body’s only claim.” (356-357) Beowulf and Sir Gawain are seen by audiences as both tremendously heroic. Beowulf might have been the strongest man, but Gawain was honorable and moral, much like a true hero should
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