Survey of English Literature
9 November, 2012
A Comparison between Beowulf and Redcrosse Knight At all times both history and people wanted heroes, who would be ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of a nation. As the history changed for the better or for the worst, there were written a lot of literature works about the heroes of a time, who had devoted their courageous deeds to people. Beowulf and Redcrosse Knight are the examples of such perfect heroes in two different periods, The Middle Age and The Early Modern Period. The story of Beowulf shows the spread of Christianity in the early Danish paganistic society that valued heroic deeds and bravery above all else. Beowulf’s heroism is shown in three separate conflicts, those with Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the sea monster. The Faerie Queen is written during the period Christianity had been spread among people; protagonist Redcrosse knight represents a virtue of Holiness, and he is the only Christian fighting against evil. Beowulf and Redcrosse are example heroes, embodying traits typical of heroes: courage, and good deeds. “The Faerie Queen,” written during the Early Modern Period, narrates a big change in Christian religious thoughts and practices. Redcrosse Knight offers his help to Gloriana, Queen of Fairyland. Una, representing truth, tells that the dragon of hell has captured her parents and that she needs help in getting them free. Redcrosse decides to get her parents released . This demonstrates a hero, he will undergo many severe trials and fight fierce monsters and this in itself is a character of a heroic knight. Not only does his armour protect his body and those who were with him, but also being a Christian. He has the protection of Christ. For the Christian in order to be holy, he must have a true faith. Much of Beowulf is devoted to expressing and demonstrating the hero, in whom...
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Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971.
Hadfield Andrew, The Faerie Queen, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Heaney, Seamus, Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, New York ed., 2001.
Niles, John.D, Beowulf: The Poem and It’s Tradition, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1983.
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