Beowulf is an Epic Hero

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Kaila French
English 112
Mr. Waugh
Period 5
Tuesday November 6, 2012

A definition of a hero differs from person to person. Some people classify a hero as someone who helped them with an everyday chore, or a person that saved someone’s life. Ulysses and Beowulf are each examples of both historic and modern ideas of heroism, Beowulf as a hero seems to stand out more. Beowulf shows many obvious heroic qualities, such as his strength and confidence in battle. These along with more controlling characteristics define him as both a great warrior and leader, which some people classify as a hero. This is also shown when he defeats Grendel. In contrast with Beowulf heroism good vs. evil, Ulysses focuses more on the uncommon types of heroes. Beowulf is more of a simple hero, he doesn’t strive to be a hero he just does what he thinks is right. Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon epic that puts good against evil. It puts Beowulf against Grendel and Grendel’s mother and in the end Beowulf comes out on top. He fought and beat both Grendel and Grendel’s mother. But in Ulysses all the survivors of the Trojan War had returned home except Odysseus. He was at Calypso’s island and she wouldn’t let him leave. When he finally got to leave he faced many problems getting home because Poseidon, God of the sea, was angry with him. In both epics there are several problems that the heroes face and overcome. In Beowulf it is Grendel and his mother and in The Odyssey the main problem was that the gods were angry with Odysseus. While both The Odyssey and Beowulf show examples of heroism, Beowulf’s actions of being a hero fit the description of an ideal hero more than Odysseus. Both poems show that neither warrior is afraid to do what’s right and to do what is needed to help out the people around them. Beowulf stands out as the bigger hero because he didn’t put is men in danger. In Ulysses, Odysseus puts his men in harm by not turning around when he knew about the sea monster. Meanwhile Beowulf did...
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