Heroism

Topics: Hero, Suffering, Beowulf Pages: 5 (1281 words) Published: October 30, 2014
INSTRUCTIONS:

What characteristics from Emerson’s "Heroism" are most necessary for defeating a monster like Grendel? Use the Option B Writing Organizer to collect your thoughts before writing.

THE QUESTION:

What characteristics from Emerson’s “Heroism” are most necessary for defeating a monster like Grendel?

THE CHART:

Use this chart to organize the information you have learned in Emerson’s essay. For help answering the question, also use the notes you took while reading Beowulf. You will need supporting evidence from each text to write a well-developed, organized response Grendel’s Character Traits

(choose a minimum of four)
Provide supporting evidence from
the poem that reveals the trait.
Why would the quality help a
hero defeat Grendel?

1. BITTER-
Then the mighty war-spirit endured for a season,
Bore it bitterly, he who bided in darkness,
That light-hearted laughter loud in the building
Greeted him daily; there was dulcet harp-music,
Clear song of the singer.

2. Cruel
The monster of evil
Greedy and cruel tarried but little,
Fell and frantic, and forced from their slumbers
Thirty of thanemen; thence he departed
Leaping and laughing, his lair to return to,
With surfeit of slaughter sallying homeward.

3. Self-Indulgent
But one night after continued his slaughter
Shameless and shocking, shrinking but little
From malice and murder; they mastered him fully.
So ruled he and strongly strove against justice
Lone against all men, till empty uptowered
The choicest of houses. Long was the season:
Twelve-winters’ time torture suffered
The friend of the Scyldings, every afflication,
Endless agony; hence it after became
Certainly known to the children of men
Sadly in measures, that long against Hrothgar
Grendel struggled:—his grudges he cherished,
Murderous malice, many a winter,

Which qualities from “Heroism”
are needed to defeat the trait?

1. A Balanced Mind

The hero is a mind of such balance that no disturbances can shake his will, but pleasantly, and, as it were, merrily, he advances to his own music, alike in frightful alarms and in the tipsy mirth of universal dissoluteness.

Why: A bitter mind can often see only as far as their own problems. A balanced mind can take in all factors, and calmly defeat an opponent

2. Justice
Heroism feels and never reasons, and therefore is always right; and although a different breeding, different religion, and greater intellectual activity would have modified or even reversed the particular action, yet for the hero that thing he does is the highest deed, and is not open to the censure of philosophers or divines. Heroism works in contradiction to the voice of mankind, and in contradiction, for a time, to the voice of the great and good.

Why: Cruelty often takes planning, and time, where as a hero acts on instinct. 3. Self-sacrificing
Its rudest form is the contempt for safety and ease, which makes the attractiveness of war.

Why: self indulgence, selfishness, limits the lengths to which one is willing to go to win. Self-sacrificing attitudes are nearly un beatable.

THE POEM:

Then the mighty war-spirit endured for a season,
Bore it bitterly, he who bided in darkness,
That light-hearted laughter loud in the building
Greeted him daily; there was dulcet harp-music,
Clear song of the singer.
...
When the sun was sunken, he set out to visit
The lofty hall-building, how the Ring-Danes had used it
For beds and benches when the banquet was over.
Then he found there reposing many a noble
Asleep after supper; sorrow the heroes,
Misery knew not. The monster of evil
Greedy and cruel tarried but little,
Fell and frantic, and forced from their slumbers
Thirty of thanemen; thence he departed
Leaping and laughing, his lair to return to,
With surfeit of slaughter sallying homeward.
In the dusk of the dawning, as the day was just breaking,
Was Grendel’s prowess revealed to the warriors:
Then, his meal-taking...
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