Beowulf
and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are
both epic poems that represent the battle between good and evil. Accompanying
the two poems are cultural characteristics from the time period they were set
in, one from the Anglo-Saxon period and the other from the Medieval period.

Beowulf and Sir Gawain as characters are very similar in ways and very
different in others, but by analyzing the contrasts and comparisons between the
two readers can draw more educated understandings of both the characters and
the time period they come from. However, to understand one’s differences,
readers must first draw comparisons.

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            The biggest ideal that these two
characters have in common with one another is their representation of good. Beowulf
for example kills Grendel at the end of the story through which the author is
trying to show that good always wins and defeats evil. Sir Gawain shows this
trait after sleeping with the Green Knight’s wife where he ultimately shows the
goodness inside of him that helps him tell the truth to the Green Knight.

            Contrasts
between the two derive mainly from the code they each follow. Beowulf follows a
warrior code and defeats his enemies through strength and courage. Sir Gawain follows
a chivalric code however which makes him humble, loyal, and has integrity that
motivates him to fight and win. Much of these traits can be attributed to the
culture though that these two fighters come from, the Danes during the
Anglo-Saxon period that Beowulf comes from have a fierce, rough culture where
respect and admiration is won through fighting and slaying enemies on the
battlefield. The medieval period which Sir Gawain comes from has a more refined
way of being respected, where virtue and loyalty to a cause is held in high
regard