Sir Gawain vs. Beowulf
What is a hero? Is a hero is a great individual with powers or qualities that separate him from the rest of the society or world for that matter. In a sense, perhaps, I think a hero can be much more than just having these particular qualities. In my opinion, a hero is someone that also commands great respect. There must also have been a great event or deed for someone to be deemed a hero. The two heroes can be compared in many ways. A major comparison would be their physical characteristics. Beowulf is “mighty, the strongest man ever. ” Sir Gawain is “honorable, a brave and true knight. Beowulf only happens to be strong on the outside. But Sir Gawain, along with his muscular build, contains a strong and stable heart. Beowulf goes to the land of the Danes and becomes a hero by his physical actions, with what he has done with his own hands. On the other hand, Sir Gawain has to make responsible choices to save his life and he makes the right choices not knowing that the King was indeed the Green Knight. Beowulf also had men doing things for him, like servants, and Sir Gawain doesn’t, he goes to the green chapel on his own, just him and his horse.
In “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, Gawain had certain characteristics that showed that he was the “hero” in the story, for instance, it doesn’t ever that where he comes from or who his family is, he wanted to be loyal to his king so he offered to play the game with the Green Knight and risked his own life just so he would be remembered. He had a goal and it was to kill the Green Knight and then in a year go and find him and let the Green Knight do to Gawain what Gawain did to the Green Knight so he did just because he was a “hero” and he didn’t want to be remembered as a chicken and his name was to be remembered as “Sir Gawain the Chicken. Also he doesn’t even know where the Green Chapel is but he knows that he is a knight and he said he would play the game and meet his death there and he finds the chapel even when he knows that it will lead to death. In “Beowulf” he comes out of nowhere, nobody was expecting him and he had a goal and that goal was to save the kingdom and kill Grendel, he did which was a very heroic move. He didn’t really know why he went to rescue their kingdom but he did and he didn’t even know them. Also when he went to kill Grendel’s mother he didn’t know where to find her, but he went anyway.
To me Beowulf is only considered physically a hero he doesn’t have the will power to be mentally a hero, he only does what he thinks is right he doesn’t make good decisions. Usually today’s 21st century heroes have super natural powers such as Spiderman, Superman, and The Hulk. They are human like at first but then they change into something completely different and they aren’t human like anymore. Also they have to hide their identity and to me that doesn’t seem very heroic. Back in the day it would just come natural.
And they would be proud of it and they would like to help people instead of it be a hassle. Another type of today’s hero is normal people that don’t get appreciated enough for what they do. Such as firemen, teachers, and even military men and women who have gone out of their way just to help this country and all we can do over here is fight with everybody, elect stupid people to become president and make the crime rate increase. I don’t think it takes too much to become a hero anymore because even the guys that play football on Friday nights are heroes to the little boys in elementary.