Beowulf Questions and Answers

Beowulf book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Compare and contrast the kinds of courtly life desccribed in lines 64-98 of Beowulf (Heaney translation) and lines 37-106 of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Boroff translation).

Expert Answers info

Robert C. Evans eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write2,994 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The kinds of courtly life described early in both Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (in the Heaney and Boroff translations, respectively) reveal a number of interesting similarities and differences, including the following:

  • Both Hrothgar and King Arthur possess courts that are physically impressive.  Hrothgar deliberately contructs a

. . . great mead-hall

meant to be a wonder of the world forever . . . (69-70)

Similarly, Arthur is surrounded by opulence, including

. . . a dais well-decked and duly arrayed

With costly silk curtains . . . (75-76)

In both cases, the richness of the surroundings may suggest a kind of materialism as well as a kind of pride in worldly possessions that may both be open to criticism, especially from a Christian...

(The entire section contains 382 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial