Macbeth vs Beowulf

874 Words Jun 26th, 2012 4 Pages
Beowulf and Macbeth
Beowulf, identified as an epic hero and Macbeth, identified as a tragic hero both are very similar and different in their own ways. The epic poem, Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney and the tragic play, Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare both have heroes as the protagonist of the story. The stories written in two different time periods, still can be seen with many similarities and differences. A tragic hero is of high ranking and unfortunately has a flaw that they possess which brings them to their tragic downfall and soon accepts the consequences that are to come. An epic hero is larger than life and is known to be noble and brave. Beowulf and Macbeth both possess traits of overconfidence through their actions
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On the other hand, Macbeth and Beowulf are contrasted differently through the traits they display. Macbeth is more guided towards being an ambitious character which is his tragic flaw and Beowulf 's trait is full of courage. Being ambitious is to achieve something eagerly and this is what Macbeth yearned for. Macbeth shows plenty of ambition such as when he orders the kill on the king in order to become king himself. “The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step.....which the eye fears,when it is done, to see.” (Macbeth. I. IV.48). Macbeth wants to kill the king because this is his desire as he heard from the witches. He is willing to kill anyone that prevents him from reaching higher rank. This is a display of great ambition. Macbeth 's ambition is of being in power over everyone and Macbeth even orders on his best friend Banquo because he suspects that Macbeth is ordering the killings in order to stay in higher power. Macbeth is power hungry and greedy due to his ambitiousness and in the end foresees his consequence and accepts the death that is to come. Beowulf is full of courage and displays his courage throughout the epic poem. Courage is well displayed among a warrior in the Anglo-Saxon culture. He shows courage when he declares he will fight Grendel and defeats him. His courage is what keeps him alive because he believes

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