Beowulf's Heroes and Today's Heroes

Topics: Grendel Pages: 2 (634 words) Published: March 11, 2006

Today heroes consist of superman, batman, Tom Cruises and Michael Jordans who are very different from Beowulf's time. Back then, heroes were kings and warriors who basically protected their people and country. The warriors were strong men who could physically make or prevent an attack in order to protect their country. The roles of the heroes have changed today, though people still aspire to be like them. Heroes today, just as in Beowulf's time, are made immortal by the written word. While in our day heroes do not literally fight Grendels or dragons, they figuratively fight these battles everyday. Beowulf fought Grendel for his own glory and it seems, more importantly, to make the lives of his friends better; he alleviated suffering for the Danes and brought his own men and lord treasures and recognition. Beowulf's actions, though not entirely altruistic, succeeded in making the lives of people easier to live; therefore, they are truly heroic. He became a hero by not only killing Grendel, but also by tearing off his arm with his bare hands. To kill someone by tearing off their arm is absolutely miraculous!

Who, then, are the heroes of our time? Unlike in Beowulf, they are generally low-key doctors who work to find the panacea for the world's ills, the politicians struggling for the rights of their people, the mothers who do anything to make the lives of their children better. All heroes have significant qualities. Many have the impression that heroes are people who have done something that is "cool" or singles them out. There are countless definitions of heroes, but most people's ideas about the characteristics of a hero are fairly consistent. It is important that a hero's cause is for the "good". A hero must be courageous and intrepid, meeting obstacles without fear. They have to be willing to fight with perseverance for their cause with determination and dedication. Another...
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