Sir Thomas Malory brings forth a courageous character , "King Arthur", utilizing weaponry and leadership, to enlighten the reader of the unique characteristics of a true hero, on the other hand, the unknown author of "Beowulf", depicts the Anglo-Saxan era to tell a story of one who fights to better society. The noble King moves as a unit with his men and pride to protect and serve the kinsmen of his realm. Beowulf wards off evil, unaccompanied, with nothing but his hands.
As a distinct hero of the Medieval Period, King Arthur relied greatly upon his arms and retainers. "Take thou here Excalibur..." The King had a extraordinary sword which he brought forth and kept at his side at all times. He fought many battles and bore great trust into his prominent sword. "`Now give me my spear.' Then the King got his spear in his hands and ran towards Mordred." The mighty Arthur depended largely upon weapons as an alternative to hand-to-hand combat. "He behold that noble sword - That the pommel and the haft was all preious stones." The distinguished Excalibur was carried and shown with dignity. Immense care and respect was imposed into the weapons of the king. The noble King Arthur utilized the arms of his time, opposed to Beowulf's unarmed way of battle.
Described as the strongest man in the world, Beowulf voyages across seas slaying evil demons with nothing but his bare hands. "...Knew at once that nowhere on earth had he met a man whose hands where harder." In the confrontation of Grendel and Beowulf, our hero brings forth a force greater than the unmerciful dragon. Weaponless, Beowulf slays the dragon with his divine tools of god. "And was instantly seized himself, claws bent back as Beowulf leaned up on one arm." Beowulf was seen as a hero who conquered the evils with his sheer strength. "Strongest of the Geats - Greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in the world." Beowulf was a hero for who he was, a physically superior being. Additionally, he was adored by the Geats for his personality and mentality, along with his accomplishments of bettering society.
King Arthur and Beowulf differed in their beliefs and ways of battle. "I alone...... may purge all evil from this hall..." Alone and unarmed, Beowulf fights as a hero. Beowulf does not fight in a group or army. "The battle was over, Beowulf had been granted new glory." Unlike the noble King Arthur, Beowulf fights unaccompanied to improve society. "And when the host of both parties saw that sword raised, they blew beams, trumpets, and horns, and shoned grimly." The two sides, at the battlegrounds, where organized, united and lead under the control of King Arthur and Mordred. Orders proposed and given by the leaders governed the actions of the soldiers unlike Beowulf's solitary way of fighting.
King Arthur, a distinguished leader, relied greatly upon the use of arms. He lead an army, of "men in mail", against other troops. Beowulf, fought to rescue a group of people and help the needy. Both heroes fight and exploit characteristics found in models to society. Bravery, strength, leadership, helping the underprivileged, are attributes seen in the "good guys" of today. These characters have adapted these methods and utilized them in the situation.