Final Paper - Mokler 1 Mathew Mokler Dr. Kimberly Jack Engl...

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Mokler 1 Mathew Mokler Dr. Kimberly Jack Engl 2200.013 June 13, 2010 The Quest for Glory: An Analysis of Heroes in Literature In Ancient and Medieval literature, tales of mans adventures were greatly exaggerated in order to provide entertainment for the masses. Whether it was Greek mythology or tales of King Arthur’s Knights, the legends of these men were that of one’s imagination. The fact of the matter is that people in those ages believed the tall tales. Why the people revered them is unknown, considering some of the transgressions that the “heroes” committed. History tells us that some of these men did in fact exist, but the lives that they lived were distorted. Both Sir Gawain and The Green Knight as well as Beowulf give us great excerpts to show this. Dating back to the early 8 th century the epic story of Beowulf took shape. The story of a brave and handsome man came to the aid of the Danes. Some seven hundred years later at the end of the 14 th Century, the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight takes shape in the same manner as Beowulf did just as the epics before its time. Sir Gawain takes a challenge from the giant Green Knight in order to preserve the honor of King Arthur’s court. Although many characteristics amongst these heroes differentiate, the same few can be found amongst each and every one of them. Traits such as bravery, wealth, strength, determination and honor tend to be some of the most recurring themes. Both Beowulf and Sir Gawain demonstrate great courageousness, as well as a certain amount of self-sacrifice in their individual journeys. In Beowulf we see the perfect traits of a
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Mokler 2 hero being exemplified. “They have seen me return bloody from binding brutish giants, a family of five destroyed in our strife; by night in the sea I have slain monsters. Hardship I had, but our harms were avenged, our enemies mastered. Now I shall match my grip against Grendel’s and get you an end to this feud with the fiend” (Beowulf 600). Beowulf here is speaking of his previous battles with monsters and that he is there now in order to slay their beast Grendel. What is important to emphasize is that Beowulf is not doing this feat for money or treasures but he does this in the name of honor and bravery. Not only did he fighting the beast for honor, but
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2011 for the course ENGL 2200 taught by Professor Allen during the Summer '07 term at Auburn University.

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Final Paper - Mokler 1 Mathew Mokler Dr. Kimberly Jack Engl...

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