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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).

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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.)

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