Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Honor and courage are the supporting characteristics of an exceptional hero. Beowulf and Gawain are fascinating men that display these traits. While they display many of the same characteristics they also differ in many ways. Many works of literature from the same era seem to have similar themes and story lines. In the epic poems of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight and Beowulf, these stories show many similarities. Each story seems to suggest that honor, truth, and heroism are the most important qualities a person can exhibit. While the stories do have the same basic theme, they also have many differences. Bravery, heroism, honor, and truth are important qualities in both stories, but the way they are exhibited is quite different.
Beowulf is an epic poem featuring the main character, Beowulf, as an incredible hero who can defeat anyone to keep his people safe. When Grendel, the evil monster torments a nobleman's town, he nobly steps up and agrees without hesitation to defeat the horrid creature. He uses his incredible supernatural power to free the people from the terror of this evil creature, and bring order back to the town. This noble gesture shows his bravery and love of human kind. He would do anything, no matter how frightening the task, for the good of the people. This shows Beowulf's unwavering bravery and strength.
In Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, Sir Gawain also exhibits his bravery. However, unlike Beowulf's gallant gesture to step up and save the people, Sir Gawain is almost forced into a situation to save Arthur. When the Green Knight rides into the hall and offers the challenge to cut his head off Arthur is the only one to step up and take his challenge. Arthur only steps up when no other knight of the round table chooses to do so. Believing Arthur's life is at stake if he chooses to chop the Green Knight's head off, only then does Sir Gawain step up.