What heroic characteristics did Beowulf, Sir Gawain and Morte D'Arthur have in common?How were they alike as heros and what was different? How did they each follow the hero's path?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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All three of these are medieval texts with a background rooted both in Christianity and earlier oral traditions. The heroes of all three tales are engaged in one or more quests against powers seen to be opposed not just to themselves personally but to their communities. Thus even where specific quest elements involve solitary acts by the hero, what makes the tasks heroic is a sense of good vs. evil and of community vs. outsider. As well as being powerful fighters, the heroes are good speakers (“doers of deeds and speakers of words”) who can mobilize and unify communities of minor heroic figures. The quests involve defeat of minor opponents before major ones.


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