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What is Adventure?

Spine-chilling, exciting, & dangerous.


Treasure Island

Treasure Island

What is Adventure? It sends chills down my spine. Adventure is usually described as an undertaking, which involves danger. The venture is exciting, an experience that would not likely to be forgotten quickly... So, how does an adventure relate to literature?

In literature, the protagonist may take on a heroic quest, facing grave dangers. Whatever the task at hand, the protagonist must prove his or her worthiness. If he or she should fail, dire consequences may befall the protagonist and/or the person or people being protected by the heroism of the protagonist.


"Beowulf" is one of the most famous adventure works in literature. While the author of the "Beowulf" poem is unknown, the work follows the adventures of Beowulf from his youthful defeat of Grendal and Grendal's mother until his battle with the dragon in his old age. While the adventure continues, the poem also involves the passing of the guard to the next generation.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

This famous allegory involves Sir Gawain's quest to find the Green Chapel, after he accepts a challenge from the Green Knight at King Arthur's court on Christmas Eve. Of course, Sir Gawain appears in other Arthurian adventures, including "Cretien de Troyes," and "Mort D’Arthur."


Homer's "Odyssey" is one of the most influential adventures in literature, and it is the work upon which "Ulysses" and other great works of literature are based. "Odyssey" is the sequel to "Iliad," which is the story of the origins of the Trojan War. Here, Homer tells the tale of Odysseus and his journey home from the Trojan War.

Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift created this famous and controversial satire in 1726. Swift details the adventures of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon who experiences shipwreck, the Lilliputians, the Brobdingnagians, the Houyhnhnms, the Yahoos, and beyond.
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