Codes of Honor in the Illiad, Beowulf, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

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Warrior/Heroes Code of Honor

There is a hero in every book they may not be slaying dragons or fighting battles but they’re there. Obvious or not every hero is self bound by a code of honor. The obvious heroes are more than likely warriors and so the whole self bound by a code of honor thing transfers over to them. Three of the most widely known warriors/ heroes are Achilleus from Homers The Illiad, Beowulf from Beowulf, and Sir Gawain from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, how are these warriors self bound by codes of honor?

Beowulf and Achilleus’ codes of honor are somewhat similar in that they both occur while in battle. For Beowulf, this happens before the battle with the rudimentary beast known as Grendel. Beowulf decides not to use weapons to fight the beast because Grendel does not use weapons, and Beowulf wants the fight to remain fair. On page 18 lines 73- 83 “Grendel is no braver, no stronger, than I am I could kill him with my sword; I shall not, easy as it would be This fiend is a bold and famous fighter, but his claws and teeth scratching at my shield, his clumsy fist beating at my sword blade, would be helpless. I will meet him with my hands - empty unless his heart fails him, seeing another soldier waiting weaponless, unafraid. Let God in His wisdom extend His hand where He wills, reward whom He chooses.” Likewise, Achilleus’ moment of honor occurs during his battle with Hektor. In this battle, Achilleus and Hektor come to an agreement that the winner will keep the loser’s armor, but will give the corpse back to the family and not defile the body. Page 516 Book Twenty-Two lines 298- 306 “Now my soul would have me stand and fight, whether I kill or am killed. So come, we’ll summon gods here as our witnesses, none higher, arbiters of a pact: I swear that, terrible as you are, I’ll not insult your corpse should Zeus allow me victory in the end, your life as prize. Once I have your gear, I’ll give your body back to Akhains. Grant me,...
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