Comparing Beowulf, The Wanderer, And The 13th Warrior

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Ty DeJames
Mr. Neely

One common question in literature that always reappears is "What is an epic hero?" Or better yet an epic hero in Anglo Saxon culture. I believe there is more to being a hero than just being strong or intelligent. An epic hero in my eyes is oneself who comes to portray the beliefs of the society in which the tale/story is depicted. A few great examples of the Anglo Saxon epic hero are the literary characters in Beowulf, "The Wanderer," and The 13th Warrior. These are all outstanding examples of Anglo-Saxon epic heroes because they all came to show the evident characteristics bravery, loyalty, friendship. In the Anglo-Saxon culture and literature, the meaning of to be a hero was to be a warrior and or a strong being. A hero also had to possess the vast characteristics of being strong, intelligent, and courageous. All warriors of Anglo-Saxon culture and literature, had to be willing to face any odds and be willing to be the underdog that chases success. Also they had to fight to the death for their glory and accept their each individual fates. The typical Anglo-Saxon hero was always able to be all of these and still be humble and very down to earth. Out of all literature Beowulf is, arguably, the best example one can use of an Anglo-Saxon hero. But, in The 13th Warrior, Ibn Fadlan (played by Antonio Banderas) similar to Beowulf, also shows many of the characteristics that come to show the qualities one needs to possess to become an Anglo-Saxon
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