The Difference of Beowulf and Gawain and the Green Knight

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While researching the texts about Beowulf and Gawain and the Green Knight, I have found a couple reasons why Beowulf and Gawain and the Green Knight all seem to be skeptical of the usefulness of the fame and shame culture, how they treat the issue, and the similarities and differences on how they handle the situations. Beowulf was published in the late 700s, whereas Gawain and the Green Knight was published in the late 14th century. Beowulf was more so focused on the religious thinking, whereas Gawain and the Green Knight is more focused on staying true to who you are supposed to be.

While reading the book, it states in the introduction to Beowulf that the story of Beowulf values the pagan heroic code, which can be referred to the Christian concepts. In the book, it also states that even though Danish king Hrothgar used wealth as social sacrament while he rewarded Beowulf for his help with the military, he also invokes God in a sermon warning him about unwarranted pride in his youthful strength. (Before the Norman Conquest Pg. 27). King Hrothgar praises Beowulf for his patience, strength, and judgment after defeating Grendel’s mother. (Line 1501-1502). King Hrothgar the proceeds to point out the difference between Beowulf to a previous king, King Heremod. He states how King Heremod was grew up to grief and grim slaughter, doling out death to the Danish people. (Line 1507-1508). He also states how King Heremod was hot-tempered, cut down comrades, alone and unloved, an infamous prince, and bloodthirsty. (Line 1509—1515). King Hrothgar tells Beowulf about King Heremod to basically warn him to never become like King Heremod and to take King Heremod’s life as a lesson.

He tells him this because he wants Beowulf to remain a good person with good morals. King Hrothgar fears that Beowulf believes that he is untouchable so he proceeds to tell Beowulf that one day everyone will die, including Beowulf. (Line 1555-1562). I believe that King Hrothgar is acting as a father figure or maybe even a role model because he sees himself in Beowulf because he himself also thought of himself being untouchable as well.

King Hrothgar ruled the Danes for 50 years until Grendel came along and proved to him that he was not untouchable. (Line 1563-1572). King Hrothgar then gives Beowulf more advice, telling Beowulf to not be so quick to get angry and to put his pride to the side. (Line 1553-1555). I believe that he tells him this because he can see Beowulf possess both anger and pride, and either one of these could be the downfall for him.

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The Difference of Beowulf and Gawain and the Green Knight. (2021, Jun 03). Retrieved from

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