Heroes as Seen in World History

These qualities help the hero to go after a bigger achievement. The Medieval heroes Beowulf, Sir Gawain, and King Arthur are heroes for different reasons. Beowulf is brave but his purpose is dissimilar to that of Sir Gawain and King Arthur. Sir Gawain attaches greater importance to personal honor and gallantry. King Arthur, Sir Gawain’s uncle, is the perfect example of a king of the medieval period. The stories revolve around the basic heroic qualities of the heroes, helping or obstructing them in their journeys.Beowulf’s biggest quality is his bravery – to act instantly without thinking about the results. No doubt, he is a great warrior but his time period is different from the time of King Arthur or Sir Gawain. The boastful talk of his bravery sometimes seems unheroic when he tells Unferth I count it true that I had more courage, More strength in swimming than any other man (514-15 (41). Although what he is saying is true glorifying one’s own qualities can’t be seen positively. Beowolf is brave when he goes out to kill Grendel’s mother. he just donned his armor for battle, Heeded not the danger… (1328-29 60). He fights without his sword: On the might of his hand, as a man must do Who thinks to win in the welter of battle Enduring glory. he fears not death (1420-23 62). He wants glory by truthful means – fighting the menace of society. When we compare the bravery of Beowulf with King Arthur, there is a difference. King Arthur is expected to be brave because he is a king. Beowulf’s bravery needs a story to outline his rise and downfall later.The character of Sir Gawain represents honor – the most important virtue. He offers to participate in a fight with the Green Knight as he feels himself to be the weakest, the most wanting in wisdom…And my life, if lost, would be least missed, truly (354-5 295). King Arthur had earlier accepted the challenge to fight with the Green Knight but as his death would be destructive for the kingdom and the masses, Sir Gawain finds valor in accepting the challenge and tells King Arthur this affair is too foolish to fall you (358-295). T