Stories often teach values within societies. They use the heroes and protagonists to exhibit respectable social behavior, and villains and antagonists as a way to clearly mark certain behaviors as poor social etiquette. Through the use of extreme behavior that identifies a character as immoral, other behaviors that are exhibited are reinforced as distasteful and frowned upon by the society and culture. Without explicitly stating the rules, people are shown the correct and incorrect behaviors. Within The Odyssey and Beowulf, two characters clearly violate social norms by invading spaces that no one invited them into. The suitors and Grendel both demonstrate what each society considers poor social behavior and highlights the importance of …show more content…
Their actions are what define them as avaricious and Grendel is also greedy in his actions. On lines 121-123, “the God-cursed brute was creating havoc: / greedy and grim, he grabbed thirty men / from their resting places and rushed to his lair”. It’s his jealousy that drives him to violence and later to greed as he continues his violent acts. “Then a powerful demon, a prowler through the dark, / nursed a hard grievance. It harrowed him / to hear the din of the loud banquet” (86-88). Grendel abhorred the activity and noise of the banquet and wanted to disrupt and ruin it, which he did by killing an inordinate amount of people. He is excessive in achieving his goal, which implies that greed drove him to the levels of unwarranted violence that occurred. Simply causing a tragedy with one death wasn’t enough, he needed to keep the people in misery and pain in order to satisfy his own selfish desires. His greed causes violence that further codes him as a villain. These acts of violence, especially killing a person. Murdering is typically seen as negative behavior when it is in circumstances that do not warrant the death of an individual. There are times when causing the death of another is acceptable, but if that person in an innocent then it is frowned upon. “But the suitors are devising another one greater by far / And more disastrous… / They are eager to murder Telemachus
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Grendel wasn’t intentionally evil, which is to be argued throughout this essay, but how he just wanted revenge on how he was mistreated and punished on earth. In the text it states “So times were pleasant for the people there, until finally one, a fiend out of hell began to work his evil in the world”(Unknown 99,101). and “Inside Herot there was nothing but friendship. The Shielding nation was not yet familiar with feud and betrayal”(Unknown 1016). These quotes examine the fact that characters like Grendel don’t intend to inflict evil into the world that is pure, but some either have no control over it or wickedness is all they know because of the shortage of compassion not given to them early on.
Every epic hero acquires certain heroic characteristics. The poem, “Beowulf, is about the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon period. Beowulf is a warrior from Geatland that comes to help Hrothgar, the king of Danes, defeat the monster Grendel who has been killing men in their kingdom. Beowulf defeats the unstoppable beast, Grendel. Then Grendel’s mother comes to try to avenge Grendel’s death, and Beowulf slaughters her in her underwater lair. After 50 peaceful years of ruling the Geats, Beowulf in his old age fights his last battle with a dragon. He defeats the dragon, with help from Wiglaf, but dies as a result. The main character, Beowulf exemplifies many characteristics that an epic hero possesses. Beowulf’s characteristics include
A hero can be defined in several ways. Someone can be considered a hero by the qualities he or she displays. The epic poem Beowulf, written by an unknown author, describes the most heroic man and role model of the Anglo-Saxon times. This hero Beowulf has all the qualities and traits that a true hero expresses. Beowulf, as depicted in the epic Beowulf, is the prototype of the epic hero, a larger-than-life figure who embodies the virtues and ideals of his culture.
Are everyone's motivations to become a hero pure? This question can be hard to answer depending on the hero. Spidermans motivations for saving an innocent child were pure, but what about people suffering from hero syndrome? A syndrome, that has become a recent phenomenon. This syndrome makes people seek heroism or recognition by creating desperate situations that they resolve in order to become a hero. As common as this syndrome is today, it was not a common syndrome in the tenth century. In the epic poem Beowulf, translated by Burton Raffel, a mighty warrior named Beowulf fights three terrible monsters. Beowulf is a hero of the tenth century. Beowulf's motivations to fight the
Being a hero can be defined many different ways. Several qualities like courage, respect, and strength can define heroism. A hero is noted for his or her actions for being brave, powerful, and acting with honor. In the epic poem, Beowulf, the main character Beowulf shows all of these characteristics by defending the Danish king, Hrothgar, and his people. He is a true hero by honoring his country and exerting his power and strength to protect others. Beowulf embodies the qualities of bravery, being powerful, and demonstrating his honor; therefore, he can be considered a true hero.
Commonly, epic poems have a theme called “good vs evil.” This theme runs in both Beowulf and The Odyssey. Monsters such as Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon from Beowulf and Polyphemus, Scylla, and the sirens from The Odyssey all represent evil in the epic poems. These evil beings make their protagonists look like perfect people in comparison. They do this because the monsters represent the qualities their respective societies do not accept. For example in The Odyssey it says, “Give it me again with a ready heart, and tell me thy name straightway, that I may give thee a stranger's gift whereat thou mayest be glad’… So I spoke, and he straightway answered me with pitiless heart: `Noman will I eat last among his comrades, and the others before him; this shall be thy gift.’” (The Odyssey Book 9, 355-356 and 368-367) Polyphemus did not show xenia, which is one of the greatest offenses to the Greeks. From Beowulf we also see an example of a monster going strongly against the common practice of the culture. “Sad lays were sung about the beset king, the vicious raids and ravages of Grendel, his long and unrelenting feud, nothing but war; how he would never parley or make peace with any Dane nor stop his death-dealing nor pay the death-price.” (Beowulf, line 153) Grendel would not stop murdering or pay for the deaths he has caused which was the opposite of how
Beowulf does not undergo much character development considering what he goes through. His personality and leadership traits remain static throughout the story unlike most other stories that involve a similar plotline. This both shows great strength as well as the inability to change which is often considered a weakness if this stillness is viewed without context. In the case of Beowulf this primarily brings out his strengths as a hero and allows the story to move at a quicker rate and not focus on character development, but on other aspects of the poem, this being the alliteration and beauty in the writing far beyond the plot itself. Beowulf is a consistently strong warrior that stays honorable through the poem, but just increases his levels of glory through each enemy defeated as well as each year of peace after he attains a full level of sovereignty.
In the epic poem Beowulf, there is an obvious distinction between good and evil. The hero and his foes play roles that are commonly associated with Anglo-Saxon literature. The lines are clearly drawn and expressed in the poem. As the story moves, the reader cannot mistake the roles being played, based on the characterizations in the epic, one recognizes each character for their purpose and place.
Beowulf is a hero, and we all know a hero when we see one. There are many traits and characteristics that make someone a hero. These traits and characteristics are more expressed in ancient epics and poems. Beowulf is one of the most famous ancient Anglo-Saxon poems still taught to this day in schools and colleges all over the world. The story starts off of how a man by the name of Beowulf receives news that a neighboring land is being terrorized by a monster named Grendel. Beowulf shows several characteristics of here such as, bravery, loyalty, generosity, friendship, and showing a high level of intellect. Beowulf first shows his heroic character through his bravery while journeying on his epic quest. There are several cases where he is not afraid, and instead of being frightened, he shows great bravery. An example of from the poem is, “Instead, they inspected omens and spurred his ambitions to go, whilst he moved about like the leader he was, enlisting men, the best he could find; with fourteen others the warrior boarded the boast as captain” (Beowulf 205-210). This quote gives proof of his bravery because he was the head of the group leading his men. Beowulf proves that even he himself must be brave in order to lead the bravest of men into battle.
Through analysis of the text Beowulf translated by Burton Raffel, it is questionable of whether or not Beowulf is good or evil. Based on his actions, intentions and motivations behind his actions, and the way culture shapes him, it is clear that he is, in fact, an evil character. Beowulf is a dishonorable character who is self-absorbed and only saves the people of Herot for fame and wealth.
The tale of Beowulf follows one of history's oldest heroes as he ventures throughout Nordic Europe on a quest to kill the infamous monster Grendel, however in contrast with many of the regaled heroes of the past Beowulf remains constant in every aspect of his character. His goals, values, and actions never undergo even the slightest amount of alteration, even throughout his unusually long life, he remains static, Why? Some would argue that Beowulf’s unchanging personality could be contributed to poor penmanship by the author of the tale, or that it simply could have been lost throughout the ages of the story being retold orally, but despite all of that, it seems most likely that Beowulf was intentionally portrayed this way in order to set an example for those who would encounter his story, in all senses of the Nordic Culture that he came from, Beowulf is the Paragon of what a nord should aspire to be, his values encompassed everything their culture held dear in this world: gold, glory, the well-being of his people, and an aspiration to have his name ring out for the rest of eternity.
Both Beowulf and Achilles are poetic characters, who hail from different eras of history and different cultural backgrounds. While each is unique in his own way, the two heroes also share similar characteristics. This paper will compare and contrast the medieval Germanic hero Beowulf with the classical Greek hero Achilles (of Homer's Iliad), and show how the two are similar and how the two are different.
The men return all of this compassion and loyalty with matched or greater loyalty and affection for Odysseus. For when they are rescued they are tearful with joy and gratitude for his returning to save them. Their loyalty is unbroken by Eurylochus’ attempts to undermine Odysseus and cause his men to question him. When Odysseus considers striking down Eurylochus they hold him back with assurances that they are loyal to him and will follow him wherever he may take them “If you-one sprung from Zeus-prefer it so he can stay here and watch the ship. We’ll go with you, lead us to Circe’s sacred house”. It’s defining moments like these that separate Odysseus’ men from Beowulf’s; where Beowulf’s men clearly
Most teachers emphasize that a well-written character in a story should be deep, believable, and human, with flaws and personality. Then, say that Beowulf, a poem about a man who is as deep as a sheet of paper, is a masterpiece. While the poem Beowulf is one of the most important and influential pieces of literature in the world, Beowulf himself is a poorly written character when compared to characters of today’s standards.
An epic is a long, narrative poem that encompasses a hero or a heroine who is usually involved in an amazing battle between two forces. It includes forces that are not of the human world such as demons, angels, gods, and spirits. The epic of Beowulf is about a hero with superhuman strength that defeats the demon who torments the soldiers of the kingdom. In The Rape of the Lock, the heroine Belinda has a piece of her hair cut and stolen from her and the major battle is trying to get her lock of hair