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Word Count: 717
Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are epics that display heroism in different contexts Though both considered heroes Beowulf and Sir Gawain are drastically different characters in personality ability and perspective The similarities are few each performs deeds for which they gain fame and honor and each is seen in their own respects as a paragon of virtue Two factors immediately stand out as fundamental differences between the texts Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight suggest fundamentally disparate views of religion and of courtly manners Superficially Beowulf displays a distinct lack of either while Sir Gawain is completely permeated with both Sir Gawain and the Green Knight describes a well ordered Medieval Christian world Christianity guides the actions of a heros soul courtly love guides those of his heart He was the most noble knights known under Christ that sat around King Arthurs round table Sir Gawain as a character is the perfect cog in this system that knight of courage ever-constant and customs pure Is pattern and paragon and praised without end Of all knights on earth most honored is he Sir Gawains world is an edifice built of religious and chivalric codes that constrain define and bolster its inhabitants and Sir Gawain is its golden child Gawain is brave for example not because courage is intrinsically good and thus he as a good knight possesses it but rather because he puts his faith in God Thus as he rides to near certain death at the hands of the Green Knight Gawain proclaims I shall not give way to weeping Gods will be done amen I commend me to His keeping when he begins his quest had he not borne himself bravely and been on Gods side He had met with many mishaps and mortal harms God will preserve his soul Sir Gawains chivalry is by the book as well after sparring verbally all morning with the as-yet-unnamed Lady Bercilak
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