“Introduction.” In Modern Critical Interpretations: Beowulf, edited by Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987. Chadwick, H. Munro. “The Heroic Age.” In An Anthology of Beowulf Criticism, edited by Lewis E. Nicholson. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1963.
Camargo, Martin. “The Finn Episode and Revenge in Beowulf.” In Readings on Beowulf, edited by Stephen P. Thompson. San Diego: Greenhaven Press,1998. Chickering, Howell D.. Beowulf A dual-Language Edition. New York: Anchor Books, 1977.
What if the person displayed personality flaws that would traditionally be associated with a villain, but has heroic intentions? These questions were finally answered with the emergence of the anti-hero in literature. The anti-hero is useless at being a hero when they should be one or have the opportunity to be one. Typically an ordinary, timid, selfish, anti-social, inept, cautious, passive, pessimistic person, they still manage to gain the sympathy of the reader. Usually unglamorous, many wallow in self-pity which only worsens their state of mind.
Homer’s The Odyssey paints a picture of the supposed savior Odysseus. The irony of Odysseus’ situation is that he really is not the marvelous hero that many who read The Odyssey see him to be. When imagining a great hero, the words of cruel, unfaithful, selfish, or careless never come to mind, but the son of Laertes sets examples for each attribute. Odysseus makes many poor decisions that cause his dislikable traits to highly outweigh his few better ones. Several of his more prominent characteristics are exhibited on numerous accounts.
In this story of deception and adultery set in the Puritan era, Hawthorne introduces Dimmesdale as a weak and cowardly man who refuses to take responsibility for his actions. The Rev. Dimmesdale is a transitional character in that he is, at the beginning of the novel, outwardly good but inwardly deceitful and by the end of the novel he becomes both outwardly and inwardly truthful. At the beginning of the novel, Dimmesdale has established quite a reputation for himself. In discussing individual members of the magistrate, the towns people describe Dimmesdale as a "God fearing" gentleman, "but merciful overmuch (49)".
Fight for your way out, / or run for... ... middle of paper ... ...of gentle and kindness shows that Odysseus is not a hero. His way of supporting ideas that favor him most portrays him as non-heroic and his true picture is also revealed by his selfishness and mercilessness. Odysseus is not a hero based on the standards of merciful, selfless, and gentle. His actions against Polyphemus, the Suitors, and his men truly show that he is in fact the opposite of a hero. The actions he takes to return home safely and to get back his throne are very cruel and show signs that he lacks the nobility of being called a hero, or a king, or a warrior.
New York: HarperCollins, 1996. 153-57. Regan, Robert. Poe: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1967.
Harry T. Moore states "Of all imaginative works in English in this century, Forster's stand highest among those which may properly be called humanistic." (Riley, Moore 107) His main belief is that individual human beings fail to connect because the humanistic virtues, tolerance, good temper, and sympathy are ineffective in this world of religious and racial persecution. However, he also believes that personal relationships aan succeed, provided they are not publicly exposed, because values and noble impulses do exist within human nature. "Life is not a failure but a tragedy principally because it is difficult to translate private decencies into public ones." (Riley, McDowell 108) Forster is conscious of the evil that exists in human nature.
San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Winters, Yvor. “Maule’s Curse, or Hawthorne and the Problem of Allegory.” In Hawthorne – A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by A.N. Kaul. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966.