Beowulf & Grettir: the Monstrous Heroes

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Beowulf & Grettir: The Monstrous Heroes

Beowulf and Grettir’s Saga have a similar theme of heroism. The heroes arrive to the distressed, kills the hazardous, saves the world and everybody is happy, as they are safe. Beowulf and Grettir also share similar situations, enemies, and long tiresome battles, and even similar characteristics and fates. However, their ‘hero’ qualities are drastically different. Beowulf is a shiny golden hero, while Grettir becomes more and more tainted with shades of gray, limiting him to an in between position, neither a hero or a villain; regardless of all of his accomplishments worthy of respect, his passion gets the best of him. Grettir is outlawed while Beowulf becomes the leader of his people.

Grettir appears to be the victim of constant bad luck, and we the readers are tempted to sympathize with him. His intentions most of the time mean well, and when they do not it is because his pride clouds his mind and vision which proceed him to act certain ways that provokes serious consequences. Yet the reader cannot deny he is exquisitely brave on numerous accounts, and that his negative features are overcome by his soul. Beowulf also has his pride that helps him overcome battles and difficult decisions and situations as a ruler.

With different personalities and status, Grettir being ruthless and outlawed and Beowulf being composed and revered, a demonstration of their similar heroic adventures is needed. Beowulf arrives to assist Hrothgar’s anguish about Grendel attacking Heorot night after night. Grettir does a similar favor for Thorhall’s farm in getting rid of Glam who haunts it, also, regularly by night. Beowulf and Grettir evidently fit the hero prototype since they are both physically stronger than any regular man, are well known for their achievements in battles, they are both incredibly skilled fighters, and most importantly both have unequaled bravery. Our heroes were both persuaded and advised that their encounter...
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