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Middle English Characterization In Beowulf And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

Decent Essays
Middle English Characterization
Characterization is profound in early history as it not only makes a story interesting, but also emulates the values and cultures of the period. Unknowingly, many authors conceive characters with principles from the generation in which they correspond. In the poems, “Beowulf,” translated by Burton Raffel, and “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” translated by John Gardner, the dissection of the main characters led to the discovery of the foundations of Middle English history. Keeping this in mind, there are many different techniques to display these morals as “Beowulf” was made to create an exemplary figure, while “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” enlightened others on how not to act. With that, within these two alliterative texts, the depiction of the characters Beowulf and Sir Gawain are different through the core ideas of faith, chivalry, and motives. The main characters of these poems illustrate the idea of faith differently by putting their trust into separate things. Starting with the character Beowulf, a heroic man, he puts his faith into two people: God and himself. Beowulf trusts that God is in control and if something happens, it is for a reason. Right before his battle, Grendel exclaimed, “God must decide / Who will be given to death’s cold grip” (Raffel 174-175). He understands the severity of the events but is willing to leave it in the hands of his creator especially if it is against a weaker, evil being. This holds true as in
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