Tale of Two Cities vs. Beowulf

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Trevor Fort
Mrs. Fazio
19 January 2009
Honors English
                                        A Tale Of Two Cities vs. Beowulf

When talking about renowned stories and strong characters in literature, there are two names that come up every time, A Tale of Two Cities and Beowulf. Both of these stories can be compared in many ways and in many ways they are extremely different with few similarities. These stories were written centuries apart yet they are both still notorious today. The diverse styles of writing in each of these tales show the different time periods. There are three similarities that I want to specifically discuss more about: the protagonists’ characteristics, how they change, and how they end their lives with meaning. One of the differences between the two books is that the protagonists, Beowulf and Sydney Carton, are more comparable than most people would think. In Beowulf the main character is obviously Beowulf and he is a strong and resilient character that fights to help those who need it. In Beowulf it says he was, “greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in this world….” (lines 109-111).  Beowulf has to kill Grendel to save the people of Denmark and lose many of his own men along the way. He does eventually kill Grendel and then Grendel’s Mother to save the people. “But Beowulf longed only for fame, leaped back into battle” (lines 502-504) this shows Beowulf’s heart to finish what he started. He never gave up no matter how difficult it was to continue after his men were killed or no matter how hard it was to fight the monsters. Sydney Carton on the other hand first appears as a lazy, alcoholic attorney who cannot muster even the smallest amount of interest in his own life. He describes his existence as a supreme waste of life and takes every opportunity to declare that he cares for nothing and no one. Carton by the end of story changes immensely and becomes a better man. Now Carton isn’t strong resilient like Beowulf but he is...
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