Beowulf is a character that possesses all the qualities of an Anglo-Saxon hero. He is strong, fearless, brave, courageous, and arrogant. But are these qualities enough to consider him a hero by the standards of today? A hero not only needs to be physically outstanding, but he also needs to have integrity, moral values and needs to act without thinking in his own benefit. Beowulf has many characteristics of a hero but he also has some defects that make me think that he wouldn’t be considered a hero in today´s world.
Beowulf's bravery differs from that of King Arthur's for several reasons. King Arthur by being king must be brave, to rule the state people must respect him. Beowulf's bravery carries the story. One because it details his ascension in fame and secondly it also outlines his downfall. The honor of Sir Gawain is his best value, though he suffered a set-back.
Because of their glorified heroic feats, they both become blind-sided, unaware that their acts subsequently level them to what one would consider an enemy. A hero is not supposed to be selfish in the least bit. These books fabricate these men as heroes, convincing readers that they use their superhuman abilities to protect society from violence; ultimately, they do this to protect their reputation and masculinity. Gunnar and Siegfried have all the physical attributes that lead readers to believe that they have the insurmountable ability to use them to better society; such is the definition of a hero. Heroes are thought to be more extreme and braver than the average human being.
Without his history of glorious deeds, he would see himself bereft of the very power which qualifies him to be a good King. Beowulf’s bravery never comes in to question, he does meet every challenge head-on, with deadly attention. The society which labels Beowulf as a legendary hero, recognizes his actions and his bravery as a integral part of his definition as a hero. Without the society to support th... ... middle of paper ... ...or a chivalric Knight embodies the battle of the righteous self against corruption. Gawain’s strength comes from his discovery of his own flaws.
Even though Beowulf is quite the hero, he is also illustrated as being extremely prideful. During the Anglo-Saxon period, character traits that were most common for a hero is a rather egoistical and boastful which Beowulf has. He is more interested in his honor as a hero that he is even willing to take on any task without a real fear of death. The poem explores his heroism in two separate phases, the younger Beowulf and the older one, and through three different, but increasingly difficult conflicts with Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. These time periods in his life, correlated with two contrasting standards of integrity.
These stories both have a main character that possesses heroic qualities, many of which are very similar. Gawain’s identity as a hero is not clearly demonstrated, but when compared with Beowulf, who is demonstrated to be a hero, hiss merits earn him that title as well. Exactly what defines a heroic act, or a hero for that matter? Often times we dismiss the question due to its complex nature. But when confronted with an individual with heroic qualities we readily identify them as a hero.
The novel Ransom by David Malouf (2009) and Beowulf by Anonymous (?8thC) uses different narrative uses of the hero and the failure to be heroic within their respective texts. They both challenge the readers understanding of what it means to be heroic. Malouf depicts that there are greater acts of courage than those that can be gained through a battle, which are qualities of a hero. Both Priam and Achilles are expected to behave in a certain way which causes them to become symbols for a hero, as well as images of the ideal king and warrior for the people who are around them. It is through these characters, as well as Somax, that Malouf highlights that ordinary people who live and work away from the battle field are also capable of having qualities of heroes such as compassion, bravery and courage.
Beowulf displays his characteristics; courage and strength, fame, perserverence, and compassion; which affords him the opportunity to be looked upon as an epic hero. With a lack of courage, not many can accomplish much. As Beowulf travels, his courage not only grows but stands strong. In his journey to Hrothgar's kingdom, Beowulf is faced with many unbearable tasks many men wouldn't dare to go up against, but with Beowulf, he takes those tasks and runs with them. His fight with Grendal not only proves his courage but his strength as well.
Ernest Hemmingway in his short work, “The Sun Also Rises” presents to us a world accommodating a “Lost Generation” in which the central figure’s interactions with various men give us fragmented pictures of what it means to be a hero. This method of presenting a hero is effective logistically, because as previously stated it is impossible for one to fully embody everything a hero is. While it is true that this work has limited themes, critics agree that it also gives us a clear picture of what most regard as a hero: “A man of action, of self-discipline and self-reliance, and of strength and courage to confront all weaknesses, fears, failures, and even death.”. Hemmingway’s “man’s man”, a traditional and respected understanding of hero, deviates from the entirety of what the underground man adduces. Multiple critics have even gone as far as to brand the underground man an “Anti-Hero”.
Unferth in Grendel however is unsuccessful in his campaign against evil, but like the man who emerges empty handed he is by no means any less of a hero. For heroism, as demonstrated in the Anglo-Saxton tale Beowulf, is altered in Gardner’s Grendel to convey the idea that intentions define a hero as opposed to actions. Beowulf is a classic hero in Beowulf for he fits the epitomized romantic mold so perfectly. His appearance is that of a hero, he is large, muscular, and intimidating. His intentions are also in the right place, he wishes to free Hrothgar’s people from the evil that is Grendel.