What Makes a Hero

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What Makes a Hero

After spending over a week reading the story "Beowulf", we can all come to the conclusion that he is a hero. Sure, he saves countries from monsters, has incredible strength and wisdom, and is fearless- the typical fictional hero. However, when I hear the word hero, I think in terms of an everyday hero. In my mind, a hero is someone who performs courageous acts even if the consequences can be fatal. A hero doesn't have to be some big muscled guy who beats up bad guys. My example of a hero is a fireman. He/she knows that they might be killed rescuing someone from a burning building, yet they still go in. Why? Probably for the honor and glory that people will give them.

Now that we know my definition of a hero, we can take a closer look at the Beowulf's life to determine if he is a hero by my standards. We first encounter Beowulf when he hears about the troubles the Danes are having with an evil monster named Grendel. Beowulf, knowing that this evil monster might be able to kill him, voluntarily packs up some stuff, gathers some of his men, and leaves the Geats to go help the Danes. When Beowulf arrives to Danish king, he is peacefully invited to the mighty mead hall. When there, Beowulf tells the king that he would like to fight the evil monster. The king, knowing that he has nothing to lose, lets Beowulf fight the monster. Is this guy begging for attention or what? What man in his right mind would go to another country to fight a vicious monster? Beowulf wanted the honor that he could obtain if he killed Grendel. That is why he went. Also, the king told him that if Beowulf could defeat Grendel, he would have anything his heart yearned for. So, the answer to the question if he qualifies as a tr...

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...tes Beowulf. Beowulf has fought his last battle. Although Beowulf knows that he will be dead soon, he is content with all the good deeds that he has done and he feels he has lived a great life. The only complaint that he had was that he never had a son to become the heir of the throne. This event is what I consider makes Beowulf a hero. He knew that he was going to die; yet he still fought.

So, as I come to my conclusion, you can see why I consider Beowulf a hero. Not because of his incredible strength or great wisdom, but because his courage. Courage is what makes hero's what they are, and Beowulf had plenty of it. There are many modern day heroes. So many people risk their lives everyday. It astonishes me. I have great admiration for those people because I know I will probably never have enough courage to perform any of the tasks they do everyday.
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