After reading and analyzing both Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I received multiple perspectives of a “hero” and what that word meant during these time periods. Therefore, in both stories, it was evident that in order to be considered a hero during this time one had to be selfless and loyal to the king/crown by sacrificing oneself to maintain the tranquility within their kingdom. Nonetheless, in terms of Beowulf, I considered both the protagonist, Beowulf, and one of his warriors, Wiglaf, to be heroic individuals who portrayed all the necessary characteristics one must acquire to be considered a hero during this century. This was because Beowulf numerously sacrificed himself to protect King Hrothgar’s kingdom, when he battled
Alexander Hamilton once said, “There is a certain Enthusiasm in liberty that makes Human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” Beowulf is an epic poem in which the main character Beowulf did acts of service, but he fought for those who couldn’t fight. The overall theme of good versus evil in Beowulf had Beowulf dealing with challenges that no ordinary man would be able to handle unless they were a true epic hero. Throughout the poem Beowulf proves to be an epic hero by his strength, bravery, and sacrifice.
An Anglo-Saxon hero is perfectly portrayed by Beowulf who contains values of Anglo-Saxons like bravery, loyalty, honor and the willingness to risk his life for the greater good of his people. The latter is primarily why he gains the trust of his people which is why he claims the title of King and therefore gets hold of power. While Beowulf is the symbol and representation of heroes in Anglo Saxons, we have multiple personalities who we consider as heroes. People who work, people who dream, people who act. Today, what we people believe in is that if you have money, you have everything.
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?”
Ancient Rome is recognized for strength in war and battles, so the ideal citizen would be strong and willing to fight. Hunt explains that in Rome “one man’s loss was another man’s gain” (177). The culture of Ancient Rome was aggressive, as the men were trained to fight and be devoted to their country. “Male elites had to be on guard to defend against and avenge any slights to their personal, family, and state honor” (Hunt 177). In The Aeneid, Virgil writes “Roman, remember by your strength to rule //
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.
Christopher Reeve (AKA the 1978 superman) said that, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles”. Both Beowulf and Modern day heroes are similar in that way in that they fight for the common good of people. That quote from Christopher Reeves on what a modern day hero is, also applies to the epic hero qualities that Beowulf has. Similarly Beowulf and a modern day hero defeat an evil so that good can prevail. Some examples are, Beowulf Slaying Grendel and Grendel's mother to save the land of the Danes, and soldiers fighting enemies that threaten the lives of a country, and police officers putting criminals behind bars.
Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon epic about a great warrior who values the Anglo-Saxon ideas of loyalty, personal indebtedness, fame, fate, and heroism. The epic is named after, and centered on, Beowulf and his quests; however, several other characters also reflect Anglo-Saxon values throughout the story. For example, King Hrothgar built “the best/ Of all mead-halls” (ll.145-146) so that his “men lived happy” (l. 15). Hrothgar built the mead-hall because he was indebted to his men who served and protected him. Meanwhile, Beowulf was indebted to Hrothgar because Hrothgar once defended Beowulf’s family.
In Beowulf, Beowulf must undergo three main trials in order to fulfill his destiny. Before Beowulf begins his quest, the unknown author drafts Beowulf as a hero whom the people of Geatland acknowledge and look up to. For example, as Beowulf recruited able warriors and prepared to set out to Denmark to save Hrothgar’s people from Grendel, no elder denied his plan. The elders’ respect for Beowulf, demonstrates his influence in society.
This conclusion can be made because the Monster has the characteristics of a hero. These Characteristics include courage development, determination, risk taking, and a sacrificial spirit. The Monster in Frankenstein had proper motivation to be so determined and courageous to get what he desired in life. He longed to be accepted by others; this was his struggle in life. All heros encounter some sort of struggle on their journeys.
At one point in everyone’s life, someone has to step up and lead a group to victory. In Orson Scott Card 's book, Ender’s Game, people depended on Ender to be the best leader the Fleet ever had in order to defeat the enemy, the Buggers. Ender was a good leader because he knows who he was fighting with and against, he trained and pushed his army to the limit, and he was smart and caring but also hostile at times. One way Ender was a good leader is by knowing who he was working with and against. When Ender first got his army after he became a commander, he trained with them and later he “wrote down his impression of each of the boys in the army, the things he notice right about them, the things that needed more work,” (Card 168).
The person who led the attack was Uther Pendragon. If a hero is all the things that were mentioned, then Uther Pendragon must be a hero. When he led the attack, he didn’t turn back to save himself,. Uther risked his life knowing that Vortigern had an army of wizards against him and if Uther and his army lost the battle.
Is this still what defines a hero and something we should all strive to become? If this is no longer what makes a hero, what does make a hero? Is it the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Is it taking on an alien army single-handedly and saving mankind from certain doom? Does it require one to be arrogant, boisterous, and disrespectful of others?
Hero’s are everywhere in this world sometimes they're around you other times they are far away, but everyone has a different hero. When we see a hero most people look up to that person because they know that they have done something good for someone. A hero’s place in society can be all over the world due to their different senses, but most of them will know when something bad is going to happen or when they know that you will need their help to fight mankind. A hero is someone that you look up too because you know that they do the right thing.
Beowulf is the best epic story. Including perfectly embodies the manners and values such as: Being Loyalty, it seen when Beowulf already travelled through the sea, when the monster began to attack and Beowulf known as the bravest, he wants to fight the monster by himself, not only to consider as a hero but to defend their soldier to them. Being Friendship, after Beowulf won to fight the monster in the middle of the sea, they began to travel among the island, under king hrothgar .Beowulf did not familiarize the island, but he and his soldier still joined to the people around there, to protect and save them to the monster, he is a mission to face the monster, but they enjoy to joined there, and they treat as a their own tribe. Courtesy, instead