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The Heroic Code

Good Essays
Samantha Budd
01/30/2013
Honors World Literature
Ms. Iverson

The Heroic Code

The life of a warrior is not always filled with glamour and glory. Warriors cannot simply waltz through a tough battle, shedding blood left and right and taking all the glory and credit for themselves. There are often tough decisions to be made. Warriors also cannot just think of themselves, for their decisions often affect the lives of others as well. They need the heroic code to guide them in their decision making. In this essay, I will describe the heroic code and share its applications in the stories of Beowulf, Gilgamesh and Noah, and The Illiad, as well as my other personal experiences. I will start with the story of The Man of La Mancha, which
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Beowulf’s loyalty is most prominent at the end when he fights the dragon. He did not want to fight the dragon because of his age, but felt that he owed it to the king to do it. Beowulf was so highly revered that everyone was deeply saddened by his death. He truly lived his life exactly to the Germanic heroic code. Nearly all of Beowulf’s actions in this poem follow the heroic code. He saved lives, fought every battle bravely, was loyal even in situations of life and death, courageous, and rewarded and revered even the warriors underneath him. The fact that he died in battle just means that he did not only live as a hero but die as one too. The last example of the heroic code in epic stories is from The Epic of Gilgamesh. Similarly to Beowulf, Achilles, and Hector, Gilgamesh was very strong and very brave, like a typical hero. He is on a quest to be the ultimate hero and achieve everlasting life. Gilgamesh has fought and won battles against several infamous monsters: Humbaba, the Bull of Heaven, and a pack of vicious lions. However, even though Gilgamesh was very brave and strong, he was not a good king to his people. He put his own interests before theirs and ruled with a cruel iron fist, as well as being obsessed with his own legacy.

In conclusion, the heroic code was a set of beliefs and values that guided warriors to make the tough decisions that they would undoubtedly be
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