King Arthur And Beowulf Research Paper

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For the Love of the People: In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Beowulf and Morte D’Arthur, What made King Arthur and Beowulf great kings? Prestige? Wealth? Or was it something deeper, something any man may possess but few do? I think the uniting factor of these two kings was their overwhelming love for their people. King Arthur and Beowulf weren’t great because they had wealth or because they were prestigious, these things may be achieved by any sinner off the street. They were good because their hearts were rooted in love for the people. This love was show clearly by their bravery, humility, generosity?, and willingness to sacrifice. Their people recognized this In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight they called King Arthur… and they hailed…show more content…
Beowulf preformed several acts of bravery: slaying Grendel, killing Grendel's mother and most notably fighting the dragon. King Arthur also possessed this quality, he was the first to accept the Green Knight's challenge and in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight it says that Arthur “with fearless face stood straight and tall.” Bravery is an important trait in a king, because people, especially in the time of chivalric code, needed to be able respect and revere their king. Without bravery kings were seen as weak and unfit to rule. Another reason bravery is important is because during the time of Beowulf and King Arthur wars and battles were a big deal. Kings were supposed to be great warriors who performed acts of chivalry. It takes great courage to go into battle, much less to lead a battle and this was one of the king’s main responsibilities. A king gave to his people by supporting and defending them and they gave to him in turn by revering and serving him. This symbiotic relationship is what keeps a nation from succumbing to both outside attack and civil war. After Beowulf dies, the people lament that without him war is inevitable and they suspect the kingdom’s demise is near. In the same fashion, when King Arthur when dies in Morte D’Arthur Camelot falls. Without a king who is brave and capable nations…show more content…
This is where Beowulf shines. While part of Beowulf’s motivation for fighting the dragon is glory, I think he was also deeply motivated by love for his people. King Arthur also shows his readiness to sacrifice by volunteering first for the Green Knight’s potentially fatal challenge. He knows that because he is a good king he must be the first to step forward and offer his life. King Arthur was saved from having to make the sacrifice, but Beowulf was not so fortunate and he payed the ultimate price. At his grave his people, the Geats, wept for him saying, “Of all the kings upon the earth he was the man most gracious and far-minded, kindest to his people and keenest to win fame.”(Line 3183) They recognized his great love, which was demonstrated by his sacrifice for them, and in spite of their sorrow gave thanks for his life. Through their individual willingness to sacrifice, King Arthur and Beowulf gave the ultimate proof of their

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