Gawain Vs Beowulf

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Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight contain heroes who fight physical evil beings within their stories. The authors address an underlying societal evil that is not expressly stated in either tale. The men of these stories are given a societal role with certain traits that they need to have or appear to have in order to properly fulfill the role. Society’s expectations overwhelm both heroes as they are not able to fulfill the role without harming their own character. Beowulf enters Hrothgar’s kingdom as a strong hero who can help him defeat Grendel. Grendel epitomizes jealousy as he terrorizes Heorot for the merrymaking happening inside. Beowulf faces his inner demons in physical form through Grendel. Beowulf struggles with a…show more content…
A man that had accepted his faults and tried to improve upon them would have given the fight with Grendel more respect by not sacrificing one of his own men first. Beowulf mildly reminds me of a bully who mistreats those who are lesser than him because he feels insecure about himself. He takes no weapons to the fight with Grendel and immediately is undervaluing him as a villain to the village. Beowulf’s lack of self-worth leads him to be prideful in his strength as it is his only constant. He can rely on his strength to get him through most of life’s obstacles and therefore ignores his personal issues. The battle with Grendel does not pose a threat to his personal doubts because he is easily able to defeat him with strength. The battle destroys parts of Heorot where Beowulf could have taken the fight outside of society. His lack of thought about the damages that occur after a battle heightens his sense of pride in himself. He can do whatever he wants and he will still be celebrated for his strength which further weakens his inner being. Society is constantly confirming that his strength is a useful tool and it allows him to ignore that he is apart from society on an emotional level. He is disconnected from having personal relationships due to his low self-esteem and society’s praise of him as a hero. The evil for Beowulf is not from Grendel but from society’s lack of…show more content…
He is choosing to save his own life by wearing it and tarnishing the noble reputation that a knight meets death graciously. The green knight comments on this, “it was loyalty that you lacked: not because you’re wicked, or a womanizer, or worse, but you loved your own life,” but he blames him less because most men would have taken advantage of the wife. Gawain consciously makes the decision for his own life and upsets society’s expectations of him to be fearless. Gawain conquers a portion of his evil by making his own decision and confessing to his fault. However, he returns to his home to boast of his fault and the lesson he learned on his journey and falls right back into the fake humility category. Gawain fails in overcoming what society wants him to be; rather he succumbs to the role placed before

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