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Romantic Elements in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Hercules

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Rainer Maria Rilke, a British novelist and poet once said, “The only journey is the journey within.” In both “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and Hercules, they both go on a journey to prove themselves and try to find out who they really are. On their journeys they encounter many obstacles which proved their determination and heroism. The romantic elements in the book “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and the movie Hercules comparatively show their journeys, and the test of being a hero.

A journey is defined as traveling from one place to another. In both “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and Hercules they go on an expedition to prove themselves and find out who they really are. Sir Gawain agreed to exchange blows with the Green Knight and cut his head off in one blow. The Green Knight survives the blow and picks up his head and told Sir Gawain that he has one year and one day to find him at the Green chapel or else the blow will be returned. On the journey to finding the green chapel, Sir Gawain stumbled across a castle where the host had promised to show him the way to the green chapel if he remains loyal and honest with him and his wife. He stays with them for three days and each day he must give the host his earnings. Although Sir Gawain failed to give the host one of his earnings, the Green Knight had saw that Sir Gawain was not dishonorable because all he wanted was to save his life, so he forgave him. The Green Knight saw he was worthy, so he gave Sir Gawain the belt. In which he went home and told everyone about. Same as Sir Gawain, Hercules also went on a journey to find out who his birth parents were. Hercules found out that his father is a god named Zeus. Since Hercules is immortal he can’t be up there at Mount Olympus with him. And so, in order to become mortal again, he has to prove himself. So, Hercules sets out to find Philoctetes (Phil) to train him. Throughout the whole movie Hercules thinks in order for him to become mortal is that he needs to fight evil monsters. Hercules quickly becomes a famous hero to everyone. While on this journey, Hercules stumbled upon a girl named Meg who he became very fond of. In the battle against the main antagonist Hades, his love Meg was put into danger and so Hercules sacrificed himself in order to save her. In which this time was discovered that his self sacrifice was what made him a true hero not battling all those monsters. Although both of their journeys were different they both found out who they really were and stayed true to themselves.

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A hero is someone who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities. Both Sir Gawain and Hercules showed that they are heroes during their journey but not in the ways they expected. Sir Gawain was a real hero from the beginning by stepping up in being part of the beheading game proposed by the Green Knight. If none of King Arthur’s knights accepted the Green Knights challenge, then King Arthur must accept the challenge himself, so they would not be looked as cowards. This had showed his loyalty to King Arthur and the other Knights for stepping up for everyone. As Sir Gawain returned from his journey from finding the Green Knight, everyone saw him as a hero for stepping up for all of them and returning with his head still attached and the belt that the Green Knight gave him. By the Green Knight giving him the belt showed that he has persistence when challenging the Knight. In Hercules he was very determined and trained hard to become a famous hero, so he could return to Mount Olympus. Hercules did just that. He fought evil monsters, titans, and Hades. Little did Hercules know, that what really mad him a hero was him sacrificing his life to save his love Meg. Although Hercules in the end decided not to become a god, he was able to live life with Meg. He then knew what it really meant to be a true hero.

In conclusion, Sir Gawain and Hercules both encounter obstacles on their journeys, but still found what they were looking for. “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and Hercules both comparatively show their journeys and them being tested as heroes.

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Romantic Elements in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Hercules. (2022, July 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“Romantic Elements in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Hercules.” Edubirdie, 08 Jul. 2022,
Romantic Elements in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Hercules. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Sept. 2023].
Romantic Elements in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Hercules [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jul 08 [cited 2023 Sept 22]. Available from:
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