Beowulf vs. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Beowulf vs. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Differences are more common than similarities when Beowulf is compared with Sir. Gawain. The Similarities are small things like both lead characters are renound heros, both characters have fought galiantly in many battles, both characters are mighty warriors, both characters were considered perfect by their society’s standards. The differences on the other hand were major things like Sir Gawain was a knight and remained a knight, therefore was subject to his king. Beowulf, on the other hand, started as a subject of kings, even though he was admired by kings, yet he eventually became a king himself.

Another major difference is in the spiritual realm. Beowulf, as with all warrior societies, seemed to rely on spiritualism and ancient spells or relics. Whereas Sir. Gawain was a knight, and as such maintained a devout christian faith relying only on God. Honestly I personally prefered Sir. Gawain. It’s a bit more modern and I’ve always admired knights and their chivalrus code. I also greatly admire Sir. Gawain’s sheild. It’s a great testament to his character. The whole idea about wearing the pentangle on his protective gear is greatly symbolic of how I try to live my life.

His “adventure” and lesson stikes a chord with me also in that no matter how much you strive to live up to the pentangle, you will always fall short a bit. This I believe is the author’s way of trying to relate this story to the christian view of the sinful lives of man and point this out to the readers, possibly as a way to point them to God and Christianity. Prepare yourself for a confused laugh on this one. For some reason when I think of Sir Gawain and the green knight as compared to modern movies, I think of Monte Python’s the search for the holy grail.

For some god forsaken reason I aquate the Green knight from Sir Gawain with The black knight from Monte Python. Yes, I’m laughing and shaking my head with you as I write this. The movie Pathfinder comes to mind trying to compare Beowulf. You can see many similarities in the whole barbaric warrior society mentality between the two. I thoroughly enjoyed both stories, but as I stated before I prefer the literary style, and the story of Sir Gawain much better. As far as the writing styles go, I don’t find Beowulf rolling off the pages as much a Sir Gawain.

It is an older writing style and a little tougher to undertstand some of the language, however this kind of thing doesn’t intimidate me or even make me not enjoy a particular writing. It’s the poetic style and the storyline that makes me settle on Sir Gawain over Beowulf. Surprises? Not really. I had read Beowulf in the past, and had seen the movie. It’s been a while for each, so it was nice to refresh on the story. I’ve never even heard of Sir Gawain, so I didn’t really have any expectations on it. So I’ll have to say… no surprises here.