compare and contrast

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In the epic poems Beowulf and The Iliad there are many characters which have honorable traits but only one that has heroic qualities. In Anglo-Saxon culture a hero was a person who has larger-then life characteristics such as superhuman strength, courage, bravery, and a honest and smart leader. Beowulf and Achilles in The Iliad both have heroic qualities one more than the other. Even though these two poems were written in different eras, Beowulf was written around 1000 AD in England while The Iliad was written 750 BC in Greece, they both depict similar scenarios with warrior themed instances though very different ways of going about this. Many of the epic poems have a major or final enemy which is ultimately what he whole story is leading up because a hero never says no to a fight. Beowulf has many heroic qualities throughout the entire poem which can not be said about Achilles. Achilles has different qualities that i will discuss in this essay. The whole story of Beowulf is heroic in that he is a Geat warrior but comes to the land of the Danes because he heard of the horrible monster attacking their mead-hall. Right from the beginning he shows loyalty because King Hrothgar a long time ago helped him father out and now he wants to repay the favor. Beowulf fights Grendel and rips his arm off with his superhuman strength and kills him. After he accomplished this all the Danes were jumping with joy and celebrating the man who saved them. Shortly though Grendel’s mother came to get revenge for her son but when she woke up the people sleeping in the mead-hall she ran away. Beowulf decided to follow her to and kill her too because that was the right thing to do. So he traveled to her cave and fought her though this battle wasn’t as ea... ... middle of paper ... ... everyone studies throughout their life because they are classics. Their is so much to learn from both of these poems and from every character. Every story has a hero and a villain which are both present in these pieces of literature. Beowulf is the classic hero with all the right qualities. He is strong, brave, humble, courageous, loyal and a great leader. The Danes accepted him with open arms because of this, because they believed in him without even really knowing him. Thats what a hero does. Achilles on the other hand not so much. He was very childlike, tempered, angry yet strong and powerful. His motives were all wrong for killing Hector and dragging his corpse around town but defending his friend was heroic of him. That took courage to do just with the wrong intentions. All Achilles did was fight for revenge, social position and was driven by thirst for glory.

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