The poem’s central focus is the noble warrior Beowulf and his accomplishments throughout the epic. Nonetheless, one of the most important components of Beowulf is the way that it depicts the heroes against the monsters. In this paper, I will argue heroes versus monsters by analyzing the differences and similarities between
This can be done because epic heroes often embody the characteristics found to be ideal to the society in which they were created. For example, Homer and the Greeks likely regarded skill in battle to be an honorable and ideal characteristic. The Iliad clearly depicts this through the epic battle between Achilles and Hector when the two charged at each other and Hector “...drew the whetted sword that hung at his side” (Beers 62) while Achilles “...bursting with rage” (Beers 62). This same idea is shown at several points throughout the Odyssey when Odysseus must overcome challenges presented by the most deadly of monsters. Similarly, the ideal characteristics of Anglo-Saxon society are present throughout the epic of Beowulf.
Beowulf does this for "for the glory of winning" (2514). This shows that Beowulf was so powerful in battle that he doesn't have to struggle and enjoys his glory in winning. And he accomplishes this once again proving his strength in battle. In conclusion Beowulf is so powerful that he can enjoy his glory. This quote also show another trait of an epic hero which is the “fatal flaw.” In his confidence in combat he failed to recognize that he was wounded by the dragon, with a poisoness bite.
Who needs a hero? Throughout human existence, societies have always looked upon heroes and champions as a gleam of hope in times of desperation. “Like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies.” In the Odyssey by Homer the main character Odysseus displays many of the great qualities that define a hero and thus forevermore he has been remembered, honored, and reverend by multitudes as an epic hero. Odysseus’s courageous leadership in time of war, his volatile journey home, his strengths and his flaws, have made him immortal for generations to come. What defines an epic hero?
For example, when a dragon begins to terrorize his kingdom, Beowulf 's first thought is not to protect his people. Instead, he says, "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." (52) To Beowulf, even as an older and supposedly wiser man, his main reason for fighting monsters continues to be to gain more fame. Other heroes, like Gilgamesh and Odysseus, usually do heroic deeds to help their kingdoms and men.
What is a hero? To some it is someone who has a supernatural ability and fights crime. To others a hero would be someone who is courageous and compassionate, just like Beowulf. Beowulf fought the dragon knowing the expense of his own life and he is always caring for his soldiers as well as his people. But the question asked by so many is “why do civilizations desire to have a hero?” As a result of chaos, poverty, and famine civilizations believe that a warrior, such as Beowulf, will solve all of their problems.
These abilities are important as a warrior because both his men and the hero reflect and are influenced by them. Some of the abilities are excellence in war, courage, leadership and fighting qualities. These qualities are seen through the heroic characters Hector and Achilles. When Achilles is not present with his men, the Greeks are well defeated by the Trojans with no motivation or support. Achilles is also described by his men as a power figure when the poem says “These were his words,/ and all Achaeans gave a roar of joy/ to hear the Prince abjure his rage.” (R 23-35).
Is Beowulf a Hero? The poem Beowulf, tells of great the great undertakings of Beowulf, a man who has defeated many ruthless monsters and seeks fame and glory. If we take Beowulf and compare him to the Anglo-Saxon ideal hero, Beowulf fills all the necessary requirements but, when compared to modern day standards, Beowulf doesn’t quite make the cut. In the modern day, selflessness is the ideal. It is evident from the beginning of the poem that Beowulf is meant to be the hero.
Several times Odysseus shows contempt towards the mystical creatures that he has to fight against. Throughout the twenty year journey, he shows many moments of great bravery, and heroic actions, which is why he can be considered an epic hero. Here he fits one of the many qualifications of being an epic hero. Odysseus is a fantastic example of an epic hero. Another way that Odysseus proves to be an epic hero, is that he was tempted quite often throughout his
“Heroes need monsters to establish their heroic credentials. You need something scary to overcome.” Written by Margaret Atwood a writer (BQ). The epic poem The Odyssey is about a man named Odysseus who is trying to get back to his homeland of Ithaca. Odysseus has been fighting in the Trojan war for ten years and runs into many Gods, Goddesses and some monsters who may help him, or endanger him. In Homer’s The Odyssey, Odysseus is an epic hero because he is on a quest, has superhuman intelligence, and performs brave deeds.
Even though he’s out numbered, he takes his chances by being courageous to defeat these sea monsters (559). Another trait is Beowulf’s strength that helps him become a hero. Beowulf has “hands that [move] with thirty men’s strength” (380). Like a superhero, strength is also important for a native hero. Beowulf battles monsters like Grendel who triumph his size and devour men who nobly fought in battle.