Beowulf As A Modern Hero

587 Words3 Pages
What defines a modern hero? By itself, the concept of modernism is defined as a divergent from any traditional standards. It could be either religious or societal standards. Therefore, the overall concept of a modern hero is defined as a protagonist who goes against the traditional standards. In other words, a non-stereotypical hero. Although this idea was not present during the conception of the Aeneid and Beowulf, their heroes can still be analyzed based on a modern perspective. Thus, we ask ourselves the following questions—which of them is the modern hero?
To answer that, we should think about the definition of traditional heroes versus the modern heroes. When we think of traditional heroes, we see them as brave and noble warriors that
…show more content…
This is evident in Beowulf’s boosting as well as the feast held in his honor, where he received gifts of honor. This trait makes him a less of a traditional hero. Given the philosophy, this trait is viewed favorably within the warrior culture. Thus, Beowulf remains a traditional hero.
Given Beowulf’s analysis, does this make Aeneas the modern hero? There are aspects that make him a traditional hero. Like Beowulf, he is a brave warrior willing to risk his life for his people and his adventures were glorified to further the propaganda of the Roman Empire’s might. Unlike Beowulf, he has the noble motivation to find a place he and his people can call home. He never thought of own needs, besides his desire for home.
However, there are aspects of modernism in his heroism. He was motivated not by glory, but a desire to find a place call home. Furthermore, his journey is chronicled with both successes and failures. He did succeed in finding a him and the Trojans new form in a form of Italy, yet he made mistakes along the way. The one mistake that exposed him as a flawed character is his tendency to stray from his destiny and his abandonment of Dido at Jupiter’s request. His hesitance to abandon Dido and the fear of Jupiter’s wrath makes him weak, as “he yearns to be gone, to desert this land he loves, thunderstruck by the warnings” (348-349). If he were to exist in the warrior culture, he would be viewed
Open Document