Beowulf, Sir Gawain And The Green Knight, And Canterbury Tales

Good Essays

Whenever you see the word ‘Hero’, what do you think of? Some may think of the people you see in comic books, with superpowers, pointed ears, or men wearing tights, and others may think of demigods from ancient mythology, fighting dragons or Cyclopes. In this essay, we will be discussing three different books; Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Canterbury Tales. While most of the ‘heroes’ of these novels did contain some heroic qualities, we will not discuss why most of these characters were heroic, but why they were not.

Beowulf is one of the oldest surviving books and is one of the most important pieces of literature. Beowulf tells about king Hrothgar of Denmark, whose kingdom was attacked repeatedly by a demon named Grendel. Hearing about this, an illustrious warrior named Beowulf comes to the rescue. Overjoyed, king Hrothgar holds a grand feast in Beowulf’s honor. Beowulf loved this, but when an envious Dane questioned Beowulf’s reputation, Beowulf began to boast about his past victories. The feast lasted through the night, until Grendel attacked once more. While everyone in the hall was afraid of the monstrous demon, Beowulf attacked him with his bare hands, ripping his arm clean off. Grendel, realizing that he now had one less appendage, crawled back to his hollow to die. His severed arm was hung in king Hrothgar’s hall as a trophy. Seeing Grendel’s decimated corpse, Grendel’s mother later joined the fun by murdering Aeschere, one of Hrothgar’s most

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