Modern Hero Essay

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So, Beowulf, the hero, with his super-human strength and unrivaled courage must defeat three monsters or three sins, jealousy, with Grendel, wrath, with Grendal’s mother and greed, with the Dragon.

These are three of the bible’s seven deadly sins that are ingrained in our society. Popular heroes like Superman, Iron Man and Batman, all seemingly fight villains who represent some moral turpitude.

The other two monsters represent sins, there is no reason that Grendel’s mother should be excluded from this fact.

If the author was trying to speak to the heroes struggle against societies issues, then wrath would have to be considered a problem, not a solution.

In a way, one could say Beowulf was the hero of hero’s not only inspiring the people of his time, but inspiring the heroes who would later be created in his image.

Beowulf begins as many epic tales do, by introducing the hero.In fact, the hero, Beowulf, also makes reference to revenge after Grendel’s mother kills Aeschere, Hrothgar’s advisor. It is always betterto avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning.For every one of us, living in this worldmeans waiting for our end. When a warrior is gone,that will be his best and only bulwark.(1384-1389) It is ironic that Grendel’s mother would represent vengeance because as Beowulf himself says, “it is better to avenge dear ones than to mourn them.” This brings up an interesting point because it is difficult to tell what exactly the author was trying to say.He or she may have been trying to speak to the morals of the time in saying that no one is above vengeance, even the great hero Beowulf or they may have been speaking to the inherently self-deprecating act that the endless cycle of revenge would cause.They help define who we are and what we want to be.They give us hope and inspire us to head in the right direction.Finally, there is the Dragon, whom Beowulf fights as an older king.The Dragon represents many things, Beowulf’s impending death, his final challenge, his passing of the torch to the younger generation, but when trying to convey this final antagonist to modern day problems, the Dragon can only represent one thing, greed.However, what is really interesting about these heroes is how closely they resemble a character a thousand years older than them, Beowulf.If heroes are supposed to represent what we as people want to be morally, then it would make sense that they would also represent what we want to be physically. He is a strong, statuesque man who seemingly towers over his peers.


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