A Hero in Their Own Way

782 Words4 Pages
Throughout literature, the personification of the hero has adopted a number of different meanings. Originally represented as being an individual who wasn’t bound by limitations, Heroes demonstrated the ideal ways in which a person should live or strive to become. Later on, contrasting adaptations of the hero started to form. The once “larger than life” portrayal of the hero is now beginning to deteriorate, as they began to possess lacking physical, mental, and sometimes moralistic traits that would once make them stand out from the collective whole. But on a different note, when a comparison is drawn between two acclaimed heroes in literature during contrasting time periods, such as Beowulf and Hamlet, one can notice the changes that occur throughout time. Although every hero holds relatively consistent attributes that contributes to their outstanding character, there were many distinctions between Beowulf’s and Hamlet’s character, which serves as markers for advancement in the hero’s character. The first thing to point out about both Beowulf and Hamlet is the simple fact that both are the protagonists: the primary characters in which the central focus of the plot is on them, as well as the adversity they had to overcome. The audience is forced to put the most emphasis on Beowulf and Hamlet’s character because most of the plot stems from their point of view. On another note, they were both driven (or called forth) to serve for reasons that was not of monetary gain. Neither Hamlet nor Beowulf acted with the intent of being rich or seizing power, but rather for more underlying personal gain. Furthermore, Beowulf and Hamlet each possess traits that are exemplified, standing out from the collective whole. Beowulf, a revered ... ... middle of paper ... ...ndencies to let this element of his character get the best of him. Throughout Hamlet’s story, he would constantly have disputes with himself as to how he should administer Claudius’ murder. Hamlet’s hesitation stemmed from the fact that he wanted to exact the “perfect revenge”, wanting everything to be thoroughly executed so that Claudius truly gets what he deserves. Whatever the case may be, it can be declared that the adaptation of the hero has changed over time. Literary characters like Hamlet and Beowulf serve as good indicators of the changes in the personification of heroes. Taking a general look at both Hamlet and Beowulf, one can see how they both hold similar characteristics that classify them as literary heroes; in many other ways, one is still able to see many differences in the alteration of the hero’s character from Beowulf’s time to Hamlet’s.
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