It is embedded in the nature of humanity to have heroes; recognized individuals who perform actions that are wished to be emulated upon by others. Although the idea of these significant role models remains fixed, the variations of heros through the centuries is irrefutable; where culture defines what characteristics they obtain. The fifth century hero (a physically strong warrior with a reputation) differs immensely from a hero found in the 1900s (a humble man or woman who sought personal achievement rather than fame) which then differs from a modern hero (one typically associated with fame). So how can a hero have a definition if their entire persona changes as culture does? Throughout the madness of ever-changing societal heroic standards, one aspect of heroism has remained constant; Every hero has been found to inspire one or more people, whether …show more content…
Early in history, a group of Germanic tribes who inhabited Great Britain, known as the Anglo Saxons, held a synonymous structural idea of a hero. This heroic figure was a warrior: a physically strong male who would fight and win battles in order to protect a kingdom. People who risked their lives for glory and their community aroused the masses. Beowulf, a fictional character of literature, depicts this fifth century hero perfectly as the brave, honorable fighter who holds a strong reputation throughout the land. Beowulf left the people in awe, as he “survived/every quarrel, each violent conflict” (2397-2400). His many victories against the harmful monsters who threatened their home caused a feeling of energized hope throughout the land and a stronger sense of sanguinity. Specifically in the text, Beowulf’s reputation and courage influenced a young man named Wiglaf to step forward and assist him in his final battle. Wiglaf encourages the other men to help this mighty king who “has gained the most glory among men,”
Thou Hrothgar, hail! Hygelac's I, – kinsman and follower. Fame a plenty – have I gained in youth! (”Beowulf”408-410) Francis B. Gummere the author of the epic “Beowulf”, which tells the tale of a hero. For a story that’s supposed to be told about a hero Beowulf’s actions are not the case with many hero’s and maybe for Anglo-Saxon culture, but Beowulf cannot be considered as a hero in modern times. Beowulf is not a modern hero or a hero that would be accepted in today’s society. Beowulf is not a hero because of his lack of morals and compassion, Beowulf not believing in his own men, and Beowulf’s constant need to be the best or accepted by many.
Without mental strength and stability, one cannot lead or rule efficiently and may cause more harm than good. Beowulf is not just a hero in the terms of Joseph Campbell, but is also the definition of an Anglo-Saxon hero. Christopher Garcia, author of The Anglo-Saxon Hero, declares that to be an Anglo-Saxon hero, one must be a warrior which Beowulf is. Although he is the interpretation of an Anglo-Saxon hero, Beowulf does not bask in his own glory. He controls his mentality which demonstrates how he is mentally strong. As Garcia says, “warriors had to be willing to face any odds, and fight to the death for the glory and people.” Throughout Beowulf, Beowulf fulfills his job as a hero by using his mental strength to display a proper attitude without being overconfident in his abilities. An example of his properness occurs in a formal boast when he claims, “I mean to perform to the uttermost / what your people wanted or perish in the attempt” (634-635). Presented in this quote, Beowulf shows the obvious power of his mentality and willingness to put his life at risk to save others. Beowulf is a definite hero by definitions and exhibits the proper mental strength to relieve the fear the Danes have from Grendel’s multitude of fatal
Beowulf represents what a modern hero truly is rather than Dante the pilgrim, because he displays qualities of courage, pride, and humility. In order to be considered a modern hero the individual must demonstrate these particular qualities, and courage, pride, and humility should be reflected in the actions they make.
...ffers slightly from generation to generation, from culture to culture, and from individual to individual. But heroes or heroines are still admired for their bravery, great deeds, or noble qualities. The fearless deeds accomplished by Beowulf are not necessarily required for a person to be considered as a hero or heroine today. Albert Einstein is an American hero because he accomplished many great achievements in science. All the passengers who died on the September 11th flights are also looked upon as heroes or heroines because they faced a horrific terrorist act close up. Fathers can be called heroes in their sons’ eyes because they simply admire their dads. Hence, the word “hero” has many meanings today. The Anglo-Saxon ideal of a hero was comparatively narrow and limited. Today heroism is defined more broadly. How broad will the term become in the next 25 years?
Erika Mercado Essay 2 Modern Heroes: Dante vs Beowulf A modern hero is a good-hearted person with these attributes: bravery, strong, and contributes to saving the lives of his homelands. Beowulf demonstrates the characteristics of a modern hero: a leader, fearless, and generous. Beowulf is a young hero whose character exerts powerful strength in battles. Dante the Pilgrim does not display hero attributes in The Inferno.
To the Anglo-Saxons, a hero was both brave and mighty as well as audacious and arrogant. In Anglo Saxon society, warriors were assumed to be loyal to their leaders in battle, even if the battle appeared to be hopeless, because they earned great honor and riches from protecting their leader. These warriors were alleged to be just as fearless as their heroes, and always as loyal as a dove. In the epic poem Beowulf, created by Anglo-Saxon storytellers, the loyalty of Beowulf’s warriors varies depending on the levels of security they feel in fights; they are more loyal to their leader when they believe they can prevail, and their loyalty wanes when the predicted outcome of the battle appears unfavorable, contradicting the appetite for eternal
Societies construct heroes that represent and embody the ideals of those who create them and read about them. Their is a stark contrast between the hero in the time of Beowulf and Hamlet’s creation and heroes created in modern times. Current literature, movies, and television portray a different kind of hero from those created in 1000 AD to 1600 AD. A hero is defined as someone who is "admired for achievements and noble qualities"," shows great courage", and in historical texts such as Beowulf and Hamlet is a "legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability" or an "illustrious warrior" (Merriam-Webster). Despite the popular belief that the time for heroes has passed away, based on the needs of society, today's
A hero is defined as a man distinguished courage or ability; someone who is admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. When people are oppressed by an evil tyrant, a hero will rise above the circumstance, and conquer the evil that has harmed the people he wants to protect. The Anglo Saxon writer produced a great representation of a hero in Beowulf. If alive today, the protagonist Beowulf would be considered a hero. He possess attributes such as superhuman strength, unshakable bravery, and the willingness to not ever give up until the fight was won. Beowulf has the same attributes that many of the other heroes we have come to know have. The story Beowulf will paint a clear picture of what a hero should be like and show that Beowulf would be considered a hero if alive.
In conclusion, although Beowulf possessed many heroic qualities he would not be considered a hero in today’s world. A hero varies from culture to culture. The Anglo-Saxon appreciated different things in a person that what do not we appreciate today. Many things have changed a lot with time, the requisites for being considered a hero have also changed. Today we do not like to solve problems with war. Pride and honor are not as important as the willingness one has to help others. Beowulf is not feeling that contact with people he doesn’t identify with them because he believes himself better, a part of a hero´s cycle is to be identified with the community. To be part
This recognition that Beowulf receives proves his place as the quintessential hero in Anglo-Saxon society. The unknown author recognizes Beowulf as a warrior who “behaved with honor and took no advantage” (149). This quality is important to Beowulf’s image as a hero. The author also days that Beowulf “bore himself with valor” and names Beowulf “Heroic Beowulf” when describing the hero (135, 149). The author’s recognition of Beowulf as having these qualities and as being heroic shows that Beowulf was regarded as a hero during the authors’ own time. This is also confirmed by the several times people in the epic recognize Beowulf’s heroic qualities. Wiglaf, who was with Beowulf during the final battle, is one of the people to recognize Beowulf’s glory-seeking heroics, saying that Beowulf is “a man unequalled in the quest for glory” (179). This statement speaks much of Beowulf’s willingness to search for and his success in finding glory. Beowulf is also recognized by a thane of Hrothgar’s court during his earlier days. This thane recognizes Beowulf’s heroics and begins “rehearsing Beowulf’s triumphs and feats” by comparing him to Sigmund, an old Anglo-Saxon hero (59). The recognition Beowulf receives from the characters in the epic shows that Beowulf was impressive and heroic to Anglo-Saxons who told his
This essay is the comparison between Beowulf and a modern day hero. I consider any American soldier to be my modern day hero. In this essay I will explain in three paragraphs of how my modern day hero is like Beowulf. With in these three paragraphs I will go over how they are both fighting for a good cause, how they are both rewarded for what they do, and how they are both treated with much respect.
Beowulf , a hero from a past story that was written in the 6th century, is one of the oldest English stories today. This story is written by an anonymous, mysterious author and is partially based on facts as well. The story is about a hero named Beowulf, the strongest man of his group known as the Geats, fought Grendal, a monster who was terrorizing people in a banquet hall due to his jealously, along with other enemies. Still even though Beowulf is a relevant hero to have memory of, the heroes that exist in the real world are known to this day are more relatable. Their differences and similarities lie within their methods of their heroic acts, how capable they’re really are, and how can they inspire people.
Most of us have heard of modern day heroes such as Spiderman, Superman, and the Hulk. Each is a hero to many children. Heroes are introduced to people early on in life usually as fictional characters, but as children grow older their perceptions of heroes alter. The characteristics of a hero are usually based around the ideas of a society or culture. In the epic Beowulf, the main character is thought of as a hero. Beowulf, a pagan warrior and the main character of the epic, shows certain characteristics such as bravery, loyalty, and generosity, which portray him as a hero. It is interesting how modern day heroes show the much of the same qualities as Beowulf.
The epic poem Beowulf, which was told from generation to generation honoring modern Anglo-Saxon beliefs, describes a heroic man who saves a village in their time of need. By definition a hero is a man of exceptional quality. Exceptional quality doesn’t even begin to describe the man that is Beowulf. Beowulf has many heroic characteristics from his super human strength to victoriously slaying monsters and other ferocious beasts. He has excellent leadership skills and commonly boasts of his achievements. Beowulf emerges as the true Anglo Saxon hero; who risks his life for the lives and well being of