world literature

Compare Beowulf and Sir Gawain as heroes.  Some of the issues you may consider include the following:

  • How do the two heroes show their command of diplomacy (compare Beowulf’s offer to fight Grendel with Gawain’s offer to play the Green Knight’s game, the way each interacts not only with the king but with the king’s court)?
  • How are the abilities of each character tested in the narratives (in Beowulf’s case, the challenge of his fights with the monsters, in Gawain’s the games he is manipulated into playing, especially in Part 3)?
  • How do the heroes respond to hopeless situations (i.e. situations they have no hope of surviving) and what does that tell you about the nature of each hero’s bravery?

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