Common Themes in Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Feasting in both epics of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are used as forms of celebration. In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the feast is held in anticipation of the New Year and involves eating, dancing, gift exchange, games, and the shared excitement of the New Year. The descriptions of the feasting hall make it seem as if nothing had been forgotten in the preparations. The poet talks about the order of the table, seating manner, serving, and behavior of those dining to give the reader a true insight as to what this feast might have entailed. As for Beowulf, rather than for celebrating a holiday, A feast is held in his honor that he chose to take on the challenge of defeating the infamous Grendel. Feasts of hospitality were rather common and important in the social setting of the Early Medieval English Culture. At this feast, it is assumed that guests felt unsafe even with the presence of Beowulf because of the previous attack of Grendel.
Hrothgar’s Great Mead-Hall was intended for use of feasting, drinking, celebration, and the giving of gifts. In mead halls like Heorot, women such as Wealhtheow and Hygd were both hostesses of feasts and unlike other women of the Viking age, they were able to have an unusual influence on societal structures, even against the wishes of their husbands. Being Queens, the roles played in society of these two women were much above those of other women. They were both well respected and honorable in a male-controlled society.
In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Guinevere and Morgan LeFay are two examples of women who play an important role in the development of the story helping the plot move along as they scheme against Sir Gawain. According to Baker, “Women are thus the epitome of good morality, the test of faith, but also sources of necessary conflict within the plot”(Baker). As a counterexample of these women, we could compare them to the roles that Grendel‘s mother plays in Beowulf. She is very hostile and uses violence and physical strength to resolve her problems. Other women of the time most likely would have been submissive and somewhat scared of other men, but Grendel’s mother, after the killing of her son by Beowulf, sought nothing but revenge.
As for the roles played by men in both Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf, the two main characters, Beowulf and Sir Gawain both represented honor and bravery. Beowulf was more than willing to take on Grendel and the Dragon, even if it meant his own life was on the line, making him a hero. Sir Gawain represented bravery by taking the challenge of the Green Knight in place of King Arthur even though he knew that it could mean his death could be the result. Lessons that could be taken from these two powerful characters and applied to their societies could be that protecting your community in Beowulf’s case, or your leader in Sir Gawain’s situation is better than dying of old age and cowardly actions.
Leadership is a word that has been viewed and defined in different ways in society. Some of the best definitions are from some of the most well-known leaders in history. In philosophy, Aristotle answers this question, saying, “He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader’. From the eye of a dictator, ‘A leader is a dealer in hope.’ –Napoleon Bonaparte. Aswell a statement from a technology tycoon, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders...
Heroes come in several ways, however, characteristics such as boldness, honor, and devotion, return as subjects all through the identity of a legend. The characters of Beowulf and Sir Gawain, each speak to an adaptation of a legend, however, each comes across quite in an unexpected way in their own account. A hero can be described to genuinely succeed if he remains steady to his respectable values when put in any circumstance that crosses his way. These two stories are...
From the poem Beowulf, we first hear of the character Grendel and how Beowulf defeated him. The writer, John Gardener inspired by the poem, Beowulf, he created a novel that showed Grendel’s past and what made him the creature he was in that poem. Pretty much like making a prequel to a movie. And in that novel, Grendel by John Gardener, Grendel is a human-like creature who is intelligent and capable of thinking and having emotion, first glance Grendel seems...
For several stories, the protagonists’ pride is usually shown and explained by the narrator or secondary characters. Yet in Anglo-Saxons’ Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney,, his pride is boosted by himself; he takes satisfaction in knowing he is letting everyone know of his value and importance to the world. Before each battle, he showed up with such a pretentious manner of fighting and boasting. In the beginning of Beowulf’s journey through life, he is considered a great warrior. While he...
Introduction Beowulf is portrayed as the hero of the epic poem Beowulf, although he is in reality the villain. All through the sonnet the writer, who is obscure, trusts Beowulf to be a a legend in view of his quality and unwaveringness to his kin. Be that as it may, his interest for gallant status was in this way, commanding it roused his envy, childishness, and insatiability. Beowulf is a story about a bombastic trooper whose basis in life is...
Beowulf shows many examples of generosity, hospitality, envy, revenge, and loyalty. Although a righteous leader, Beowulf is riddled with flaws and stuck in his ways. The loyalty Beowulf shows throughout the poem is unmatched by any other. Loyalty is a great part of Beowulf because it proves that he can be a great leader. Beowulf expresses his virtue through being a leader and having loyal followers behind him. Becoming a leader as great as Beowulf, everyone needs to follow in...
The epic poem Beowulf, written centuries ago by an unknown author, takes the reader back to a time of intense battles and raging monsters in the night. Many who have read this passage have taken note of the multiple references towards the Bible. This may imply that the author, who is unnamed, was a Christian of that time as well as others within that society. However, Beowulf contains many accounts of monstrous activity as well. It is possible that these...
Has anyone in your life ever made an impact on you? Have you ever looked up to someone? Possibly a hero? A hero could be many things, whether that be a fictional hero, a serviceman, or maybe even a teacher. Throughout history, the idea of a hero has transformed, relatively built upon the cultural values of each distinct time period. This concept essentially can delineate why a quintessential hero in Beowulf’s time (700 AD) would differentiate from a modern hero...
Saving a baby from a burning building. Spending time with passing ones. Standing up for political rights. These acts look odd when they are put together, but they do exemplify one shared foundation, courage. Courage is the ability to show determination in times of risk and strength in the face of danger. It is the opportunity to display growth and bravery in pressing situations. A character that illustrates these traits is Beowulf from “Beowulf and the Fight with Grendel” written...
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