Hamlet and Beowulf
The story of Beowulf is a story of honor, heroism, and triumph over evil. The story of Hamlet is a more tragic story where neither side of the spectrum of good versus is evil wins. There is no doubt that Beowulf is a hero, all of the obvious signs are there. He is seen as pure by all and no one can find fault in him. Hamlet however, is a more difficult person to read. He seems to eventually not care what others think of him, and is only concerned with avenging his father’s death. Whether we realize it or not, Hamlet is trying to be a hero, even though he goes about his heroism in eccentric ways.
Many of the heroes we look up to are honorable. Beowulf is an undoubtedly honorable person. He battles evil for all the right reasons; he wishes to protect the people of the kingdom of Herot. Hamlet is battling a different kind of evil though. He wishes to avenge the murder of his father by his uncle. “Hurry and tell me about it, so I can take revenge right away, faster than a person falls in love,” is what Hamlet says to the ghost when he is being told about the brutal murder of his father. Many people might not view taking a life for a life as honorable, but that is what Hamlet believes is the honorable thing to do.
Heroes of course would be nothing without their undying loyalty to the cause they are fighting for. Beowulf continually puts himself in danger many times to protect people, proving his loyalty. He is loyal to all subjects of the kingdom and does what he believes will benefit them all. Hamlet has undying loyalty towards his father. “My uncle, my father’s brother, who’s about as much like my father as I’m like Hercules,” is how Hamlet speaks of his father’s killer even before he knows that Claudius killed older Hamlet. He continually speaks negatively of his uncle and those associated with him, even though others view this as disrespectful and sometimes even words spoken out of insanity. Hamlet continues to hold his...
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