Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!

Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight - Book Report/Review Example

Only on StudentShare
Author : johannachamplin

Summary

As two of the oldest surviving works of English literature, the anonymous poems Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are revered for their historical qualities as well as their ability to show the progression of artistic literature. While Beowulf is generally dated to the 8th century, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is thought to be a product of the 14th century (Cooner Lambden 2002)…

Extract of sample
Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Because of this, both use imagery, folklore and artifacts that were common or revered at the time of writing. While Beowulf brings a great deal of Norse folklore and traditional characters into the story, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight centers on the use of Irish, Gaelic and Germanic beliefs. The poems are both steeped in cultural traditions that span several modern countries; the overwhelming theme of both stories is the triumph, moral and physical, of good over evil. Good is characterized, in both cases, by a strong and able warrior; evil is characterized by destructive monsters who are determined to wreak havoc with little provocation.
Beowulf is a work named after its principle hero, a knight from a foreign kingdom who travels to help a king in need. His story is the saga of three different foes, the first two in a foreign land and the last in his own once he has been proclaimed a hero and been named king. Beowulf sets out to help his fellow men and in doing so proves himself a just citizen and a worthy knight. Because of his foreign exploits he becomes king of his own lands and in the end of the tale, is called upon to battle once more with a fierce dragon unaided by anyone but a single young brave knight. ...
Download paper

Related Essays

Short Essay on Medieval Period Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
My analysis of choosing Sir Gawain against Beowulf is that, 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.…
2 pages (502 words)
Cold and Green in Gawain and the Green Knight. How does the season and the color green convey some of the themes in Gawain and the Green Knight
This goes well on the first two days, but on the third, the Lady hands him a girdle which will prevent Gawain from being harmed during the return blow. Gawain is tempted into keeping the girdle, when he should have handed it over, and when the Green Knight comes to give the blows, makes two feints with the axe, and then strikes Gawain with the blunt end of the axe. The Green Knight reveals himself as the Lord of the Castle, and explains that the two feints stood for the two days when Gawain kept his promise, and the small cut was for the third day, when Gawain was tempted into keeping the…
3 pages (753 words)
Beowulf Essay
On and on in the poem, Beowulf is described as "the brave one", as "the strongest of men alive in that day, mighty and noble" (episode 1). He is courageous and righteous, doing what is expected of him and more. His main traits are: his desire to demonstrate his valor in defense of others, his concern for his lineage and oaths of loyalty, and his religious faith.…
3 pages (753 words)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
The poem reflects the problems faced by Gawain till his appointment with the Knight, each adventure deep with themes of romance and chivalry.…
Essay: Plot Analysis of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
lf, and can thus, with the Green Knight, forgive Gawain for his single act of cowardice: what he did was done not out of sensual lust but for love of life-the less, then, to blame. In the context of this affectionate sympathy, Gawains own violent anger at the revelation of his fault must itself be viewed with amusement, as part of his human fallibility." (Marie Borroff, Introduction, Borroff, Marie. Sir Gawain and The Green Knight: A New Verse Translation. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1967.) The poem is constructed on a series of contrast. The first life is a court life which is the…
3 pages (753 words)