Can Notexscape Fate

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Dr. Haberstroh
ENGL 271-02427
25 February 2013

Follow The Leader

When comparing Epic and Tragic hero’s, Beowulf and Oedipus are usually the first characters that come to mind. A tragic hero is one that is seen as being great or a virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeat. This definition paints the “picture perfect” image of our tragic hero Oedipus. While on the other hand, an Epic hero is a brave and noble character in an epic poem, admired for great achievements or affected by grand events. Beowulf was known around the world for his strength and bravery, he was also known for his many great defeats while in battle, causing him to be the epitome of an epic hero. There were many differences between the characters “Oedipus” and “Beowulf”, the main differences being their relationships with the Gods and also each characters respective outcome, although there are many instances of fate and strength portrayed in both poems, they are betrayed in two different lights, Beowulf as a leader represented strength by showing strong traits of leadership, dignity, bravery, and honor throughout the poem, while Oedipus as a ruler exhibited weakness by acts of arrogance and rage. It is these differences that allow us as readers to be able to set these two characters apart as an epic and tragic hero.

The main characters of both Tragic and Epic poems at the beginning start off very similar from there lineage and upbringing, this is what allows us as the audience to both compare and contrast heroes. Although, as the poem goes on the distinction between the two rapidly becomes apparent as the events take place and the characters progress. Oedipus and Beowulf both seem to have a profound connection with the gods but they are connected in two totally different ways. Beowulf is said to be highly favored by the gods, blessed even, allowing him to face immense challenges, that most would quiver at the thought of, with great...
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