In comparing the heroic qualities of Beowulf, and the heroic qualities of King Arthur, we will cite the main differences between the two. Beowulf battled for glory, honor, and to prove his masculinity. King Arthur, on the other hand, battles to preserve the rights of his people, and to uphold justice. Both were great heroes in their individual ways, but their subtle differences are easily noticeable.
Beowulf was in it for the fame and fortune, but he was also fighting for his people. He defeats the powerful man-eating monster known as Grendel for the people who dwelled in the Mead Hall. He also defends the people from other menacing foes. In another instance, after a triumphant victory, Beowulf gets a large sum of money and passes it out among the people. Beowulf?s heroism was a bit more barbaric than that of the knights, but he was from a time period far less sophisticated.
King Arthur had set codes of conduct for his knights called the chivalric codes, which he used to preserve justice and make sure his knights were on path of divine blessing. These codes were codes of honor that guided the knights? actions. An upstanding knight would be loyal to his leader, do deeds for the good of the community, and battle with all of his might. They also hold women in a higher regard than Beowulf did, and battle for their protection and admiration.
King Arthur and Beowulf could both be considered great heroes of their time period. Compared to the standards of today?s heroes, both of them would be considered great. Both are much more selfless, and have more concern for others that many of today?s ?heroic? people. People like teachers, and firemen do work to help people, but there are those that are more concerned with themselves. I believe that Beowulf and King Arthur?s heroic qualities were much more pure, and done for the right reasons, which makes them equally respectable in comparison with any of today?s heroes.