“The villain is the person who knows the most but cares the least,” This quote comes from Chuck Klosterman. A villain means that you don’t care about other people and they are just selfish and mean. Alexander the Great is a villain because he killed a lot of people and destroyed many towns and cities. Alexander the Great is a villain because killed a lot of people. People who kill other people for really no reason are villains.
Bernard Evslin’s Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths and Burton Raffel’s Beowulf provide the reader with heroes who are morally questionable. In a typical myth, the hero of the story often makes many ambiguous choices that seem admirable on the surface, but develop in an unsettling manner. The hero is generally guided to an adventure and along the way commits many sins of goodness. Oftentimes, these heroes will never be able to overcome their obstacles; and therefore become fundamentally flawed. They are often looked up to as role models, but in essence these “heros” are representations of evil.
Evil is towering over, and no one is able to save Beowulf until Wiglaf his only warrior who stay behind helps him out. He gives Beowulf a Sword and it allows him to use everything he has left in defeating the dragon. “The king/ gathered his strength and drew a stabbing knife/he carried on his belt, sharpened for battle” (Heaney 2701-2703). Even though the dragon dies so does Beowulf. This keeps the good vs evil at a balance until the next evil takes over.
However, for Achilles if he got shot with an arrow, he will die since that is his weak spot. Beowulf isn’t invincible to anything. He lives on the edge of death. he lied about killing Grendel’s mother. Both Achilles and Beowulf are different from each other and the better hero is Achilles because he’s not a liar as Beowulf that lied about killing monster and he takes his words granted.
For all the great strengths of these heroes it’s important to remember they’re still human. Humans are naturally flawed beings, in fact their exaggerated strengths seem to make their weaknesses more dramatic. These fatal flaws constantly get between the hero and reaching his goal contributing to setbacks, loss, and sometimes death. Odysseus’s fatal flaw is pride, usually in himself he lets his positive regard for his own abilities and wants get in the way of his decision making process. One example is his military leadership, he makes both very good and very bad military decisions in his time commanding men, Odysseus is, as Homer says,” polytropos, many-sided, mixed, multi-colored, piebald.
Many violent battles break out that leave the victor appearing valiant. No man is completely invincible, however, and just when it seems that nothing could possibly defeat him, our hero’s strength finally gives out. Beowulf dies a death as violent as his life. What once brought him glory and fame, in the end destroys him. This paper explores the historical and cultural context from which Beowulf emerges as well as the role of violence in the epic.
Whiles Epic heroes are strong skillful people, they still get themselves in situations that could end them. This is where God or the gods intervene to help the hero accomplish his quest. While Beowulf was fighting Grendel’s mother, and close to defeat, “he saw, hanging on the wall, a heavy/ sword”(lines 530-531). At the moment Beowulf begins to become phlegmatic and he needs to get through. God/the gods have given him the sword he need to be triumphant.
For instance, "Beowulf" is strong and brave but he is also vain and greedy. "Beowulf 's" heroic qualities most definitely affect his story. Usually the epic heroes would go through a change. They would have a change of heart or would learn from their pilgrimage. They would see the enormous picture and would learn from all of their mistakes that they had made.
In the first example, both King Laius and Oedipus thought that they could change destiny by providing obstacles on earth. Neither staking Oedipus’ ankles in the woods nor moving changed the fate of King Laius getting killed by his son. In the second example, Creon thought he could kill Antigone without being punished by the gods, but the gods, in turn, killed his family and left him
It is important to note that this supernatural being is one of Cain’s clan who was banished by the Creator for killing Abel. “Cain got no good from committing that murder/Because the Almighty made him anathema/And out of the curse of this exile there sprang /Ogres and elves and evil phantoms” (Heaney 109-12). In other words, monsters are created and ostracized on behalf of Cain’s action. Grendel is destined to be an atrocious demon, similar to the caste system where people are unable to move up a caste. Furthermore, the creature can be related to the character, Ralph, from the movie Wreck-It Ralph, where they both are rejected and mistreated only for being what they are.