Heroism In The Epic Poems Of Sir Gawain And Beowulf

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In the epic poems of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf, the role of heroes is significant. However, the epic poems differ drastically on these topics. The epic poems of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf share many things yet differ in the qualities of the heroes; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight defines heroism as imperfect, mortal and humble, as delineated by the actions of Sir Gawain at the Green Chapel, while Beowulf defines heroism as being “larger-than-life” and proud, as shown by Beowulf’s encounter with Unferth. Gawain’s humility and faults are demonstrated by his actions at the Green Chapel. Gawain admits to his faults and is humble. In addition, the Green Knights criticism of Gawain brings out these characteristics. ““True men pay what they owe; No danger then in sight. You failed at the third, So take my tap, sir knight. (2354-2357) And the wooing of my wife was all my scheme She made trial of a man most…show more content…
This is shown through his highly complex and wonderfully crafted tale of his fight against Breca. The story stresses the importance of Beowulf’s prowess and ability as shown through the alliteration and imagery. In the story of Beowulf’s adventures against Breca, imagery is used to add validity to the story and make it seem realistic. The imagery is created by the heavy description. An example of this description is Beowulf saying “against the sea-beasts my body-amour, hard-linked and hammered…battle shirt bright with gold, decking my breast” (550); the choice of descriptive adjectives and colors make the story seem realistic. Because of the story appearing to be valid, Beowulf has added to his image. Also, the alliteration in lines 550-552, specifically between “hard-linked” and “hammered”, is used to add to the imagery. The alliteration improves the visual imagery by stressing the beauty of his armor. Beowulf’s story exemplifies his pride and
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