Heroism Between Epic Poem and Movie

Topics: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Hero Pages: 2 (1304 words) Published: October 29, 2014

Heroism
Heroism can be defined in many terms that all lead up to a noble deed, unselfish desires, and/or the positive actions that one makes. In saying this, there is reason to believe that there are major differences of the “heroism” that is portrayed in both the animation and the epic poem Beowulf. Along with that, I also want to state that both lust and power are definitely strong key factors that had to do with the two versions of Beowulf and how it also ties along with the knight in The Wife of Bath’s Tale of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Dealing with heroism in the epic poem, Beowulf demonstrates the exact traits and characteristics of a perfect hero. The poem does a good job of showing Beowulf’s maturity during the two phases of poem. The first phase is to him reaching Denmark with stories that he tells Unferth about defeating tribes of giants and 9 sea monsters as the poem describes in lines 506-581. This statement alone justifies the word heroic to a tee and gives Unferth Beowulf’s heroic impression. Continuing off from that, Beowulf carries on with bold statements targeted at Unferth about if he was as keen and courageous as he claimed to be, Grendal shouldn’t be a continuing problem and need never be in dread of his blade making mizzle of his blood (lines 586-598). This sets the bar pretty high and requires Beowulf to live up to it, as he should to keep his honor and reputation of being a hero by going fourth and destroying the monster that terrorizes Heorot, Grendal. As he does, he gains the respect of the people of Heorot, but is again faced with another challenge that he must vanquish, Grendal’s mother. Defeating Grendal’s mother points to the end of Beowulf’s first level of maturity of wanting to only gain personal glory and honor so that his name may be immortal. His second phase of his maturity as a hero starts with his transition from a warrior to a king. The difference between Beowulf as a young warrior and Beowulf as a king is that...

Cited: Page
"Heroism." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2014.
<http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heroism>
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