This essay is the comparison between Beowulf and the modern day hero. All soldiers that are fighting for my country certainly comes to mind first, when I think about a modern day hero. Both hero’s are fighting for a good cause, get rewarded for what they do, and get treated with much respect. Although a soldier might not withhold unworldly strength as one such as Beowulf, they both are putting their life at stake, which gives them both the title as being a hero.
Every epic hero possesses certain heroic characteristics. The epic poem Beowulf describes the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. Beowulf is the hero. He shows that he is a great man by always putting other things before his own needs. He is important and needed by his people and is known by many as a strong, courageous and a helpful person. He shows all of the qualities and traits that a true hero possesses.
Not only is Beowulf honorable and well respected, he is brave as well. His courage is shown by not hesitating to risk his own life to pursue the Dane’s enemies. By being self-assured, Beowulf is able to successfully defeat the fiends, Grendel and his infamous mother. At the time Beowulf is planning to pursue the vindictive dragon, the epic poem states, “I’ve never known fear, as a youth I fought in endless battles. I am old now, but I will fight again, seek fame still, If the dragon hiding in his tower dares to face me.”(ll. 2511-2515). He feels no fear, is confident in fighting the dragon alone, and has no qualms in risking his life to save others. He declares his bravery by saying, “When he comes to me I mean to stand, not run from his shooting flames, stand till fate decides which of us wins... No one else could do what I mean to, here, no man but me could hope to defeat this monster.”(ll. 2525-2534). In his actions, Beowulf’s bravery is clearly shown throughout the poem.
Christopher Reeve once said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to preserve and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” A hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Hero’s are around us in our everyday lives such as firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect people and their property. Other hero’s can be found in literature. These hero’s, also know as an epic hero, exhibit superhuman qualities to help fight and protect others while on their quest. Being a hero means taking on enormous responsibilities. With these responsibilities comes great praise from others which both Beowulf and everyday firefighter receive for their extraordinary work.
Upon entering the Danes' hall, Herot, Grendel is confronted by Beowulf, who immediately seizes Grendel's arms and drives fear into the monster's heart, "... [Grendel] knew at once that nowhere on earth/ Had he met a man whose hands were harder..." (lines 751-752). Through his slaughter of Grendel, Grendel's mom, the dragon, and other monsters, Beowulf proves his amazing strength to the other characters and to the readers.
When Beowulf fights alone and refuses the assistance and protection of the Danish army, simply so that the victory is achieved entirely by a Christian and for the Christian God, he epitomizes the heroic quality of giving his life to a higher end. Similarly, when Beowulf takes the risk of facing Grendel weaponless, so that the victory is attributed to God rather than the weapons, he performs a spiritually courageous act, another criteria for a hero according to Joseph Campbell. After defeating Grendel alone, in these two ways, Beowulf is able to convert all of Denmark to Christianity and “achieve something”, another quality of a hero. While society focuses on individuality and heroism, due to Beowulf’s strong faith in God and belief in Christianity, he defies societal expectations and attributes all the glory to God, instead of himself. Beowulf’s insistence on fighting Grendel alone is what allows him to achieve his holy mission of spreading the name of God and his glory, and ultimately is what allows Beowulf to be illustrated as a humble and faithful
He ripped off the monster’s arm as Grendel escaped wounded beyond repair. Beowulf kept the arm, hanging it from the rafters as a trophy to remember the brave warrior by. He basked in the praise the Danes heaped on him, finally bearing the rewards he seeked; glory and gold.
In the movie Spider-Man, the hero has a rivalry with the Green Goblin. The Green Goblin taunted Spiderman for a very long time until the alter ego of Peter Parker had enough of the Goblin. Every encounter between Spiderman and Green Goblin always turn into a retreat of the Goblin but at the very end of the movie, Spiderman turns out to be victorious. Spiderman is considered to be a modern day hero. An Anglo-Saxon hero is a hero from the Medieval years and fights with swords, not spider webs. Just like Beowulf, he wins a lot of his battles. Each hero has his own special characteristics that make him unique. In the poem Beowulf, the hero clearly demonstrates bravery, boastfulness and super strength within his fights.
Every epic hero possesses certain heroic characteristics. Beowulf, like other epic heroes, possesses the following heroic qualities: epic heroes are superhuman types of beings. They have a noble birth and show great bravery. They display great intelligence and resourcefulness. They have a reverence for G-d and for the values of their society. They are dominant male figures and suffer severe pain, but in the end, they conquer evil (Vivone 9/27/99). In addition to Beowulf’s heroic qualities, he is very strong. Beowulf was said to have “the strength of thirty [men] in his mighty handgrip” (Bloom 11). Early proof of Beowulf’s extraordinary strength is evidenced by his dismemberment of Grendel’s limb, the fight in the cave under water, and the
Beowulf’s last test of courage comes in his old age when his people are threatened by a “mighty” dragon. Beowulf felt as if something he had done had caused the irascible beast to wreck havoc on his people, “killing and destroying” them and their homes with its “molten” breath. Knowing what had to be done, Beowulf bravely faced the dragon, while all of his people, except for one, fled in fear. His last battle, which ended in death, displayed Beowulf’s unwavering courage, the type that every hero should possess.
Throughout the story, Beowulf’s boasts resemble nothing less than a symbol of his arrogance. “…sailors have brought us stories of Herot, the best of all mead-halls, deserted and useless when the moon hangs in skies the sun had lit, light and life fleeing together. My people have said, the wisest, most knowing and best of them, that my duty was to go to the Danes’ Great king. They have seen my strength for themselves, have watched me rise from the darkness of war, dripping with my enemies’ blood. I drove five great giants into chains, chased all of that race from the earth. I swam in the blackness of night, hunting monsters out of the ocean, and killing them one by one; death was my errand and the fate they had earned. Now Grendel and I are called together, and I’ve come…I, alone and with the help of my men, may purge all evil from this hall. I have heard, too, that the monster’s scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. Nor will I. My lord
A true hero does not fear death or, but instead risks all that he is for what he believes to be right, moral, and just. Beowulf is an epic and tells the story of a legendary hero, conquering all obstacles as if he was immortal. Up until the end of Beowulf’s life he was constantly looking to be the hero. However, his humanity is exposed by his death. Heroes all share the characteristic of their willingness to die in their effort to accomplish their heroic act, thus making the act in itself heroic. Throughout the epic, Beowulf in many ways exhibited all the qualities and characteristics needed to be a true hero.
Although boasting and bravery are strong qualities, you also need to have a little bit of a warm heart to be a hero. Beowulf is selfless, a important word to signify that he would do anything to protect others. The first quote to show of Beowulf’s selflessness is, “I mean to stand, not run from his shooting Flames, stand till fate decides Which of us wins.” (638-639). This means that Beowulf is standing his ground until fate takes its course, which is selfless because he is giving his life up if that is what fate decides in order to rid of the dragon. Another notable text from the book is, “A prince of the Geats, had killed Grendel. Ended the grief, the sorrow, the suffering forced on Hrothgar's helpless people by a bloodthirsty fiend. No Dance doubted the Victory.” (404-408). It can clearly be inferred that the people of the land were in ‘grief’, ‘sorrow’ and were ‘suffering’ because of Grendel. But, because Beowulf defeated him that grief and sorrow has been eased. Beowulf wants fame and fortune, but to also help the people who need it.
The Danes consider Beowulf, as the greatest hero in Danish history. So where can I start? War Heroes? Dirk J. Vlug. Served as a Private First Class in the 126th infantry base in Philippines. Fritz Christen. Served for Warren-SS which spearheaded the German invasion of the USSR. Fazal Din. Served in the 7th Battalion of the British Indian Army. But what do these people, decorated, war “heroes” have in common with this fictional character Beowulf. They all manned-up when trouble was around. And fought back even when they where alone, with no back ups, or someone to aid them. They didn't surrender and gave their lives for their people. The thing is this made up characters in Beowulf are based on real historical people from 6th-century Scandinavia. So probably,long time ago in the Scandinavian region, people had this type of brawls in towns. But, why is it that the Danes people consider him the greatest, bravest, toughest, of all? First, there’s this monster Grendel.A troll-like monster said to be descended from the biblical Cain. Doesn’t like the sound of joy that's not his. Kills Hrothgar’s warriors while asleep,and the people