A True Hero In The Epic Of Gilgamesh And Beowulf

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In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh was a strong, brave man with powers that are debatably super-natural who fought supernatural enemies. It is the oldest written story known to exist, the oldest existing version dates back to 2000 B.C.E. yet its hero parallels Beowulf, whose poem is thought to have been originated from anywhere between the 6th and 11th centuries (The Epic 1; The Editors 1). Despite this large gap in time periods, both of the epic poems agree mostly on what a hero is and what he should be, a strong, brave, morally upright warrior. In the epic poem Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, Beowulf exhibits the traits of a true hero and good person in the eyes of the Anglo-Saxons through his loyalty, bravery, and skill in battle. Beowulf, a warrior and the protagonist, demonstrates that he is a hero through his loyalty. Beowulf goes to help the Shieldings, a strong and old family, fight against Grendel, a demon, and is talking with Hrothgar, head of the Shieldings, about how their families’ friendship started. Hrothgar tells Beowulf that Beowulf’s father killed a Wulfing, another family, so a war was looming between their peoples. Beowulf’s father then escaped to the Shieldings for safety and Hrothgar “shipped a treasure trove to the Wulfings” and on that day, Beowulf’s father, Ecgtheow, pledged to Hrothgar “with oaths of allegiance” (Beowulf 472-473). Hrothgar paid the price for Ecgtheow’s crime and so he pledged allegiance to him. Beowulf came to help the

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