Beowulf- Not a Modern Hero

Topics: Hero, 21st century, Anglo-Saxons Pages: 2 (732 words) Published: January 8, 2007
Lauren Farnsworth
Ms. Ziari
British Literature
"Not a Modern Hero"

Within the epic poem titled, Beowulf, which was composed during the Anglo-Saxon period, shows this cultures interpretation of the main character, Beowulf, as a hero. Yet, in our time would he still be considered a noble hero? Beowulf was born upon a famous ancestry, just because of this bloodline he is able to consider himself noble and greater than the common people living around him. Without this bloodline it would not be possible for Beowulf to be considered a brave conqueror in his time. Also, the reasoning behind Beowulf's defeat of the dragon was because of the treasure that this monster was hiding. This is not something that would determine a hero today. In today's society, Beowulf would not be considered a hero.

One example of Beowulf's failure to remain of noble status in modern times is that today heroes are not determined because of their ancestry. During Beowulf's generation, noble birth was highly important as seen often throughout the poem, "Higlac is my cousin and my king…" , Beowulf feels the need to introduce himself to everyone he comes into contact with using his own bloodline. This is a device to show his importance and because his cousin is the king this makes him more of a noble hero (p. 37, ln. 42). Clearly, during the 21st century, ancestry and bloodline do not determine your fate as it did during the Anglo-Saxon period.

In addition, Beowulf does not show true heroic compassion, and his motives for carrying out heroic deeds are not always purely selfless. The reason why Beowulf battles the dragon is solely because of the reward in favor of the noble hero who will conquer it. The unknown author shows the reasoning behind Beowulf's attack of the dragon, "_____________" Thus showing the reader that Beowulf's intentions are not that of a modern hero. He has no real reason to disrupt the dragon because it was not disturbing the people, therefore making it not a...
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