Before comparing and evaluating Beowulf, Nibelungen, King Arthur, Sir Gawain and Green Night and the Song of Roland, we need to focus on what chivalric romance and knighthood are. It is easily described that both of them are associated with each other, and so we can say that there is no way chivalric romance is formed without knighthood and bravery. Chivalric romance is a literature genre of prose or verse and also it is described as adventures of legendary knights who have some heroic qualities such as courage, loyalty, honor and humility which are civilized behaviors and also it includes courtly love. As for Knighthood, we can say that it is a term which requires these moral behaviors and it consists of chivalric codes.
Beowulf and Sir Gawain show a bravery which is one of the chivalric codes. Beowulf accepts to fight with Grendel to help Hrotgar and as to Sir Gawain; he accepts the challenge of Green Night to prove his courage. Both of them keep their promises by questing and fighting with monsters and both show a valor. All of these are not for gold, money, profit or any wishes. They fight for glory and fame. When we look at the differences between Beowulf and Sir Gawain, we can compare their beliefs and social status.
In Nibelungen, Siegfried promises the lady who his brother gets injured that he takes a revenge for this lady and he shows bravery and keeps his promise by killing the dragon which damages the people and thus the courtly love is emerged. This refers to an example of chivalric romance because Siegfried also has some chivalric qualities or codes. These are to be polite and attentive, loyalty to the country, king and his friends. He never betrays a confidence or comrade so that he always maintains his principles and dies with honor. In addition to these, Siegfried successfully exhibits the codes of chivalry.
Surely, Sir Gawain served only one lord, King Arthur. Sir Gawain also is one of the Knights of the Round Table which symbolized chivalry, knighthood, and the knight’s morals. Actually, codes of chivalry were first described in the Song of Roland but we can say that while these were first mentioned in the Song of Roland, they came into existence and shaped with King Arthur’s Round table.