Essay, Research Paper: Canterbury Tales Beowulf And Knight

Literature: Beowulf

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All throughout literature there are characters that can be compared to each
other. Two examples are the Knight from the Canterbury Tales and Beowulf from
Beowulf. These two fictional characters exhibit both similar and diverse
qualities. Their quest, society’s opinion, and religious beliefs show both of
these qualities. Victory is the quest of any great warrior. The reasons for war
between the Knight and Beowulf are to be disputed. The Knight fights in
religious wars. This means that he fights for God. On the other hand, Beowulf
fights only to kill. Beowulf fights to obtain bragging rights. Both of these men
fight for the good of others. Although Beowulf wants bragging rights, he dies to
save his people. “I sold my life for this treasure, and I sold it well. Take
what I leave, Wiglaf, lead my people, help them; my time is gone.” In society,
the public’s view of a man means everything. Both are seen as heroes, but the
Knight’s reputation shows better than that of Beowulf. The Knight, the most
admired of all the characters in the Canterbury Tales, is very humble and
modest. “And in his bearing modest as a maid…” The Knight resists any
temptation to boast. Beowulf boasts of all his victories and amazing feats.
Though ridiculed by many, Beowulf thinks that popularity means everything. He
enjoys hearing people talk of his greatness, and he especially likes
compliments. In the Canterbury Tales, religion is the main topic of discussion.
The characters in the story are satirically described as moral or immoral. The
Knight is moral. He believes in God and goes to church in his battle clothes
just to be near God. While in church he asks for forgiveness for the slaying
that goes on in the wars in which he participates. Beowulf is also moral. He not
only believes in God, but also pagan gods. In this age in time it is accepted to
believe in God and other gods. Opposed to Beowulf’s society, in the Knights
age in time the worship of pagan gods was unacceptable and unheard of. They are
both heroes because of the things that were acceptable in their time. Beowulf is
a hero for slaying horrible beasts. The Knight is a Christian man who spends his
life fighting in the name of God. The writer never mentions of Beowulf going to
church. It also does not mention of Beowulf asking for forgiveness for the
slaying of others. The Knight and Beowulf are two fictional characters that
spend most of their time fighting. They both are moral, but some of their
qualities are quite different. The Knight, humble and virtuous, loves God and
does anything for Him. Beowulf, boastful and arrogant, loves attention but dies
to save his people. Both men are heroes in their time.
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