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Heroism Essay, Research Paper

Heroism Lies Within One’s Self

Heroes have played a part in society for a long time. They started long ago and sometimes people actually overlook that. Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Faerie Queene all show aspects of heroism. The characters approached their heroism with different tactics but each character learned from their gain. Heroism, an honor gained from actions that are succeeded in and completed with victory. Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Faerie Queene show the true meaning of heroism through specific characters that create a life-learning experience for the reader.

Beowulf’s form of heroism is very strenuous. He constantly has to fight in order to show that he is strong and capable of being seen as a winner. One sense of Beowulf’s heroism is when he begins to be referred to as a hero. “The hero observed that swamp-thing from hell, the tarn-hag in all her terrible strength” (Heaney 65). Beowulf does not let heroism step in the way and be his hindrance. He continues to move on and succeed at what he has come to do. Just when readers think that Beowulf is at his wit’s end and that he is complete, he comes against something worst than before having his faith tested. Another point that shows Beowulf’s true heroism is during his funeral. Line 2843 reads: “The treasure had been won, bought and paid for by Beowulf’s death. Both had reached the end of the road through the life they had been lent” (Heaney 92).

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight shows a different sense of heroism. Sir Gawain’s heroism is gained through a sense of honor. He goes through a different course than Beowulf. Bercilak’s wife constantly approaches him and he does his best to be strong. Toward the end of the story his strength weakens and he isn’t sure concerning what he should do. Sir Gawain realizes that honesty is what lies within any reach of heroism. Sir Gawain’s sincere apology causes the Green Knight to give him the honor he deserves. Sir Gawain says: “I confess, knight, in this place, Most dire is my misdeed; Let me gain back your good grace, And thereafter I shall take heed” (207).

The Faerie Queene, on the other hand was a poem addressed to the Queen, herself. The Faerie Queene shows a different sense of heroism because one of the heroes is a lady. Duessa symbolizes pride, which is a different approach. This is a different approach because in Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight men are the center of heroism. The Faerie Queene brings a different focal point. Arthur also brings around a different approach because his act of heroism surrounds the concept of acting as a redeemer or savior. This is also shown through King Arthur’s fight with Orgoglio when the shield of faith is his source of protection.

The point is all three poems show signs of heroism. It is not hard to verify who is a hero and who is not. Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Faerie Queene all demonstrate how a person’s faith can either make or destroy their sense of heroism. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight demonstrates the strongest sense of heroism. He does not allow his pride to get the best of him in order to be seen as a hero. He lets his guard down in a sense where he tells the truth and then gains a sense of heroism that can’t be diminished. Beowulf fights and continues to fight until he can no longer fight. His constant battles make him a strong fighter and heroic winner. Although, he wins the battles and brings home the treasure, his life is brought in exchange which makes him the greatest hero of all. The Faerie Queene chooses a different format with who heroes are and what they represent having characters allude to different senses of what they actually are. In other words, being a hero is a strenuous job that requires a strong sense of faith no matter how big a person may be because truth, loyalty and perseverance make a hero succeed.


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