A hero that is willing to give their all and not give up when there is an immense obstacle up ahead. These two heroes might share different stories, but they share the same courage to fight and the honor to give their all. These individuals are both brave and honorable men that shares the same ideology and will fight to the bitter end. Achilles might be selfish, while Beowulf isn’t but they both have the courage of a thousand men. A hero is not a person, but an ideology that is followed by honorable individuals and these traits make them superior above normal ideology.
Beowulf’s bravery is shown throughout the whole story. For example, when he decides to fight Grendel without any weapons seeing as how Grendel does not attack and kill with weapons. This shows much bravery and as he said in the story “My hands/alone shall fight for me, struggle for life/ against the monster.” (Raffel, 267-270) Beowulf here is talking about how he will fight Grendel with his own bare hands seeing as it will be a fair fight. Beowulf’s bravery makes him refuse when people suggest for someone else to fight the dragon because of his old age. He says with great pride he will face the dragon and not run away “I feel no shame, with shield and sword/ and armor against the monster: when he comes to me/I mean to stand, not run from his shooting flames.” Beowulf feels no shame in using his armor to defeat the dragon.
For Beowulf, this is unacceptable and he gathers a few warriors to help kill the dragon. During the fight, Beowulf’s sword is no match for the dragon. This is when Wiglaf, the bravest of his men comes to help Beowulf kill the dragon. The duel between Beowulf and the dragon is his third and final battle that eventually ends his life. “So every man should act, be at hand when needed; but now, for the king, this would be the last of his many labors and triumphs in the world” (183).
Bravery is still evident now but only with some people and the definition of bravery changed from the man who will conquer all to the man that will do the right things. On Beowulf, if you fought a monster naked and head-on, and even won, you are brave. Nowadays, being brave can be seen in any manner not just by fighting others. Honor is of great importance and every man should dream of glory and victory. They are also expected to be loyal to their leader or to someone of importance to them.
For instance, before fighting with Grendel, Beowulf says “Unarmed he shall face me / if face me he dares. And may the Divine Lord / in His wisdom grant the glory of victory / to whichever side he sees fit” (684-687). Of course, this means that Beowulf has enough courage to be strong and fight Grendel without any weapons. Therefore, his courage helps build up another characteristic that makes up an epic hero, which is his strength. In the same light,
On the other hand, Achilles strength is pivotal during the Trojan War in which he displays himself as an excellent warrior. Though both men display physical strength, the way they use their talents differ. Beowulf prefers to battle without any weapons, only his bare hands. One first notices this preference of Beowulf in his expression to defeat Grendel,
Looking at Emerson 's discription of a hero I think that Emerson would consider Beowulf as a hero because Beowulf is a very strong , couraged , and brave person that shows no weakness. To Emerson , someone that shows no signs of weakness , is brave , and has courage is a hero . Beowulf disgards his own safety to fight against the evil and for what is right . Fighting for others is a big part of being a hero . Beowulf is a indiviual that declares he can handily fight an infninite army of enemies.
When Beowulf is fighting the dragon: “The captain of evil discovered himself/ in a handgrip harder than anything/he had ever encountered in any man/on the face of the earth” (Heaney 749-751). With the fight with Grendel’s mother it is described like: “warming to this fight/with Grendel’s mother, gripped her shoulder/and laid about him in a battle frenzy” (Heaney 1537-1539). The fight with the dragon is described as: “the king of Geats/raised his hand and struck hard/at the enameled scales, but scarcely cut through” (Heaney 2575-2577). The approach is when the Geats throw a big feast for Beowulf for defeating Grendel in his honor. But they cannot get too comfortable because they learn there is a new enemy which is the mother.
The fact he faces supernatural foes is in itself a part of the theme. Because Beowulf is an epic hero, he is destined to face monsters and creatures with unreal strength and extreme power. This puts him in grave danger and makes him “engaged in a struggle which he cannot win.” The main traits of being a hero make it so the hero is always faced with challenges that eventually get the better of
In life there are people and there are other people who are extraordinary. These people risk their lives, are courageous, and go the extra mile for someone or something. These people are heroes. In the story Beowulf, Beowulf is a hero. He is considered a hero because he fits under each of these qualities.