Heroism Of Beowulf And Gawayne And The Green Knight

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Heroism of Beowulf and Gawayne: An analysis of their heroic characteristics
What is a hero? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hero as a legendry character who has great strength and ability. It goes on to state that a hero is a great warrior who is admired for his achievements, has noble qualities, and who shows great courage. Written by unknown authors, both Beowulf and Gawayne and the Green Knight are tales of heroism set at different times. Even though the characters and plots are different, the main theme is similar. They both narrate the tale of a heroic figure who embarks on a dangerous journey to vanquish an evil force. Beowulf and Gawayne, the heroes of their tales, both share similar heroic characteristics such as courage and bravery, honor, loyalty, and a concern for maintaining their reputation and image- which eventually exposes their weaknesses.
In Beowulf, the hero Beowulf’s greatest value is his displays of courage and bravery. He exhibits these qualities in everything he does. For example, he decides to face Grendel without a weapon deciding that using one for protection would make the battle too easy. He feels that when it comes to fighting he is just as dangerous as Grendel. Reckless and impressive actions such as these throughout the poem demonstrate his heroism. Even as an old wise old king he still demonstrates these traits. When fighting the dragon, he does not stop even as flames engulf him. Nothing could deter him from saving his people.
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