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Word Count: 726
Beowulf and Sir Gawain What makes a person a hero Is it their strengths Their morals Is a hero always a hero or can a hero be replaced Throughout history heroes have emerged in literature An epic hero is a character in literature whose traits are valued in the society in which the epic originated In the epic poems Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Beowulf is much like Sir Gawain yet the times in which each was written give both heroes unique characteristics Originally a narrative poem about an epic hero in sixth century Scandinavia Beowulf perfectly mirrors the Anglo-Saxon period During one of the most turbulent times in England the Anglo-Saxon culture was a warrior culture violent and often brutal They were being introduced to Christianity and turning away from the pagan ideas of fate and their belief in monsters Beowulf is a model of Anglo-Saxon values He is glorified for being strong victorious and of high status Beowulf thanks God for his victories but does his deeds for the glory it brings him as when he asks Hrothgar to let him fight My hands alone shall fight for me struggle for life against the monster God must decide who will be given to deaths cold grip 267-270 While Beowulf is a foremost example of an Anglo-Saxon hero Sir Gawain is a leading example of a Medieval epic hero During the Middle Ages the feudal system emerged creating the infamous tales of kings and knights Sir Gawain exemplifies the medieval epic hero Sir Gawain follows the code of chivalry respecting his king admiring ladies from afar and fighting in a honorable way He is not only physically strong and good with a sword but he is courageous courteous loyal and humble As with Beowulf Sir Gawain accredits his accomplishments to God but gives the glory to his King proclaiming That I have you for my uncle is
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