Typically, “…’let this match be mine. For I

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Typically, heroes have very big qualities that allow them to be heroes.  However, all heroes have a flaw or two.  Beowulf is a great fighter but is very arrogant, and is sometimes overconfident in himself.  Sir Gawain, on the other hand, is very “down-to-earth”, and his flaw is his ability to fight in combat.  Sir Gawain has never fought before, which is his flaw. They both have similar motives, but do it for very different reasons.  Beowulf and Sir Gawain are similar because of their motives, like who and what they’re doing these things for, and their only difference is their ability to fight in combat.Both Beowulf and Sir Gawain have to fight these monsters to help their nation.  In Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, it states, “The Geat leader, resolute in his helmet, Answered in return: “We are retainers From Hygelac’s band. Beowulf is my name.”(Heaney, 25) Beowulf came to Hrothgar’s land, as Geats, to help defeat the dragon.  He was doing this as a favor, and like Gawain, Beowulf had the motivation to kill this dragon. With Sir Gawain, he had the motivation to kill the Green Knight because he wanted to actually earn a spot at the table.  Gawain was only at the table because his uncle was the king.  He felt like he needed to earn a spot at the table, and he did so in a big way. This shows who he is fighting for, his King, or Uncle, and the Army of theirs.Gawain did have to fight a green knight, after taking up the bet of beheading him.  In part one of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Holt McDougal, the text states “…’let this match be mine. For I think it is not seemly for you, our King, to take this mockery to yourself… I hold a seat here more because you are my uncle… none would prove less of a loss to the court… so methinks it is proper that I am the one to put my life on the line…'” (McDougal, 3) What Gawain is trying to prove with this quote is that this should not be the King’s battle.  Because he is not as significant of a person, it would be better for him to go to defeat this man. Before Beowulf came to the land of Hrothgar, he was not known at all there. When he came and told them of his accomplishments, they were surprised and believed in him right away. These examples show the motive of what they were doing this for, which was for fame. The only glaring difference between these two men is their level of ability.  In Beowulf, it states that Beowulf is “… well-born And worthy of respect…”(Heaney, 27)  In Sir Gawain, it states that Gawain has not wielded an axe, with the King saying “Be certain to cut him once, and if you do this truly and well, you need not concern yourself with whatever cut may have been planned for afterward.” (McDougal, 4)  What this shows is different levels of ability. Beowulf has fought before, which would give him an advantage when compared to Gawain, who has not fought at all, so he would more likely than not be at a disadvantage.Beowulf and Sir Gawain are both very similar, but do have the differences that are stated above. They both had to do what they did because they were going to protect their people when they had to do so, and there wasn’t a way to get around it.  Also, they both do this for glory and to gain respect in their lands.  Beowulf wants to make Hrothgar’s people like him more, as well as to spread his popularity, while Gawain is trying to earn a spot at the table, instead of being grandfathered in.  The only difference that I see is ability.  Beowulf is much better in combat, and Gawain has not fought someone or something of this magnitude.  The stories end the same ways, but the men that were in those two stories were very different. Beowulf is considered a strong, well accomplished fighter, who does extremely well in combat.  Sir Gawain, however, hasn’t done a whole lot to help his nation, but what he does is this story sure does give him a spot at the table. The two men had similar motives of who they fought for and the fame they would gain from the fights.  Ability was the only thing that held Sir Gawain, and by the end of the story, he is nearly as good a fighter as Beowulf. To conclude, Beowulf and Sir Gawain began the story on a very uneven plain, and at the story’s end, they were both on the same plain.  Sir Gawain got better, and Beowulf ended up dead.

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