Compare and Contrast of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

600 WordsApr 23, 20193 Pages
Compare and Contrast of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Beowulf is an epic poem that was written in the Anglo-Saxon time period where only a few privileged people were able to read and write while Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which is also an epic poem, was written in the Middle English time period where reading and writing was more wide-spread. While both the epic poem Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight have similar protagonists, the main character of each poem also has different characteristics that make up the unique identities of each, such as Beowulf’s possession of superhuman abilities that Sir Gawain does not possess naturally, the chivalrous code of Sir Gawain and the heroic code that Beowulf lives by, and…show more content…
To his credit, Sir Gawain does withstand the advances of a married woman three times. Both men have fights they have won, but Sir Gawain overcame his fear of death in order to fulfill a duty. Beowulf died protecting his people even when his comrades abandoned him (with the exception of Wiglaf). The final comparison is not of the protagonists of the epic novels but of the forces of nature in both. In Anglo-Saxon times, being immersed in nature meant your demise was not far; there were more vast areas of uninhabited wilderness than in the Middle English era. Since the Germanic people possessed limited resources, they would not leave their villages - especially during the winter months when it would snow. In Beowulf, the antagonists (Grendel, his mom, and the dragon) were embodiments of different aspects of negativity and nature. The people took shelter whenever Grendel would attack in the same manner that someone would take shelter from a hurricane or severe thunderstorm. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the Green Knight himself is the embodiment of nature and the people of the time had a more positive outlook of nature. For example, the description of his appearance in line 151 through 200 and that he wields a branch of holly (for life) and an axe (for death) show that the Green Knight is the author’s personification of nature. In conclusion, Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight were written in two different eras (the Germanic Anglo-Saxon era
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