Many people say that everyone has a clone. Comparing two historical heroes, Gawain and John Wayne can simply prove this age-old theory. John Wayne, a twentieth century Hollywood hero, expresses many similarities to Gawain, a knight who lived in the middle ages as a member of King Arthur's roundtable. Although both men have many correspondences, they also obtain obvious differences due to the vast variation in time and place of acclimation. Gawain and John Wayne represent one another in many ways. While both of them, throughout life, do their best in attempt to honor their countries, they honor their fathers equally.
Also, among their innumerable likenesses, Wayne and Gawain were responsible for partially raising their families when they were just teenagers. As one of the comparisons between the historical heroes, both were willing to die for their countries. Gawain, when he turned fifteen, was already prepared to become a knight of the roundtable (Springer). He went to Camelot to become an honorable member of King Arthur's court (World Book Encyclopedia 451). While being a defender of Camelot, Gawain took responsibility for many of the actions of Arthur, the representation of Camelot. In "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," Arthur took on a dare of letting a giant man swing at his head with an axe.
Gawain, in honor of his country, replaced him because he believed that the value of his own life was far less than that of King Arthur (Little 216). He volunteered his life for the sake of his country (Bulfinch). On the other hand, Wayne attempted several times to join John Ford's naval unit. He was rejected because of high school football injuries, but with pure determination, he eventually found a way to help his country (Shepherd 331). He joined the USO (United Service Organization), a committee that supported US troops from WWII to go on to fight in Vietnam (Fortunecity). Although the two patriots honored their country in completely different ways, they both did what they did for the same reason, to maintain the well being of their countries.
Not only did the two men honor their country, but they also honored their fathers. John Wayne, who was born with the name of Marion Mitchell Morrison (Shepherd 28), honored his father, Clyde Leonard Morrison, by following in his footsteps and his methods of success in life (Shepherd 15). Wayne always abide by the quote passed down through his family, "Always keep your word, never intentionally insult anyone, and don't go around looking for trouble." (Fortunecity). Throughout life, Wayne tried to do the things that his father would be proud of him for. Even though he thought of his father as more of a friend, he still wanted to make him proud (Fortunecity). Although defending his father's honor in a more physical way than Wayne, Sir Gawain never let anyone steal the reputation of his father, Sir Lot (Springer).
Gawain discovered that Sir Pellinore, another knight of the roundtable, had beheaded his father when he rode through Camelot with his head hung from his saddle (Springer 78). Gawain honored his father's death by torturing and killing Sir Pellinore (Springer 87). Later, Gawain also killed Pellinore's son, Lamorak to express what happens when someone messes with his family (Springer 83). While Gawain attempts to avenge his father's death by killing, Wayne utilizes a more peaceful method of honoring his dad.
Regardless of the difference in the manner of how they defend their fathers, they both honor their fathers in acts throughout their lives. While both Gawain and John Wayne honored their fathers, they helped their younger brothers in other ways. When Wayne was with his little brother, Robert Morrison, the two were called, "The big and little Duke," by the neighbors as they walked by on their way to school (Shepherd 21). Wayne, at age 12 had to financially support both his brother and himself. He had to get a job to pay for both school clothes and food because his mother's job did not pay sufficient.
At about the same age as when Wayne was supporting his family financially, Gawain supported his brothers mentally and emotionally. He mostly helped to guide his brother Mordred, the result of incest, to find his father and trace his past (Springer). He always looked out for Mordred and Gareth when a scene was too gory for their young eyes (Bulfinch). Looking out for one another was a key factor in both the family of John Wayne and of Gawain.
The characteristics of the two historical heroes create a nearly perfect parallel. While both of their names rhyme and they " re from nearly the same nationality, that is only a foreshadow of the infinite similarities between Gawain and John Wayne (Shepherd 15). In their times of fame, Gawain was known as "the archetype of knightly chivalry and honor," while Wayne was known as the simplified yet traditional, "The American." (Book rags) Of all the comparisons in the world that these two share, one that brings it all together is that everything that they did was for other people. Their selflessness shows that they are both two truly honorable and patriotic men..