English DC- 2nd
October 8, 2014
Beowulf and Achilles
A hero is often someone who society looks up to, cherishes, and even admires. Although, two heroes can be very different when it comes to their idea of morals. A person’s heroic action is most often unveiled when they are forced to battle for their society and their reasoning behind it all. Beowulf and Achilles are both heroes that have their similarities and differences when it comes to their motivation, call to action, their quest, approach to the villains, and reintegration into society. Both Beowulf and Achilles are motivated by getting glory throughout their journey. Achilles’s main reason for going to Troy in the first place is to get glory from the people and look almighty. Beowulf is motivated by glory on a smaller scale because he enjoys the attention but stays humble at the same time. Achilles does not try to hide the fact that he thinks he is better than everyone else, even by the way he talks to his commander. “You shameless, profiteering excuse for a commander! How are you going to get any Greek warrior to follow you into battle again?” (line 159 The Illiad) This shows that Beowulf is more selfless than Achilles, he is willing to put his life on the line for a small kingdom while Achilles is worried about himself and how much glory he can obtain in the process. Beowulf and Achilles were both motivated by glory but Achilles turns into anger while Beowulf never once showed that side of him Both of these heroes have enemies throughout their journey. The approach to their villains were quite different. Beowulf kept his integrity and morals while only killing when necessary, while Achilles slaughtered anybody in his way. The battles that they both had to take on seemed relatively easy for the both of them, this shows the reader how powerful and immortal they really were. It was as if both Beowulf and Achilles were invincible against their enemies until their death...
Cited: Heaney, Seamus. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2000. Print
"The Illiad." The Norton Anthology World Literature Volume A.
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