In the poems the Iliad and Beowulf heroes such as Achilles and Beowulf came from communities that were war minded. Whether these heroes succeed or fail in battle determine the height of their honor. The protagonists in both epics have similar supernatural qualities, are trusted with maintaining the fate of there country, fought for glory and fame, were aided by the gods, and faced a fate that led to death. The dynamic adventures that these stories take you through are complex, leaving the impressions that an intricate and very real tale has been told. The chief elements of an epic include: a depiction of the societies values and what is important to the people concerning the epic such as the warlike behavior shown in both the Iliad and Beowulf; heroes such as Achilles and Beowulf that are unafraid of the opposition they face and have courage in front of impossible odds; mythical creatures like Grendel and impressive beings such as Apollo that provide a challenge to the hero; settings like the heavily protected Troy and haunted Herot that capture the mind’s eye; and tales of wars and the battles that encompass them.
As the audience, we can see how Macbeth's character turns from good to evil, from a "valiant cousin" and "worthy gentleman" to a "bloody butcher" and a “tyrant” which leads him down the path of self-destruction. The change in Macbeth’s character helps to illustrate the themes of natural order and vaulting ambition that are integral to the play. Macbeth finally realizes towards the end of the play the consequences of vaulting ambition. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is known as a "noble" and "valiant" soldier who is well valued. He respected the King and proved to be brave in battles as the Captain described him, "…Till he unseamed him from the nave to the chops and fixed his head upon out battlements” in Act 1, Scene 1 (lines 10 – 20) He was also well admired by King Duncan who defined Macbeth as ‘O valiant cousin!
Anglo-Saxon society judges its individual’s behavior on specific values and morals. This society focuses on a strong sense of community and it treasures fame. The values of the Anglo-Saxon society are embodied by the brave, fearless and exemplary soldier, Beowulf. Beowulf is the protagonist in the epic poem, Beowulf. This character is brought upon conflicts and challenges by inhuman creatures that threaten his existence and the perseverance of his culture.
This certainly characterizes Beowulf throughout the whole poem. In stanza 4, line 165, Beowulf states; “That I, alone and with the help of my men, May purge all evil from this hall. I have heard, too, that the monster's scorn of men, is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. Nor will I. My lord Higlac might think less of me if I let my sword go where my feet were afraid to, if I hid behind some broad linden shield: My hands alone shall fight for me, struggle for life against the monster.” In this quote Beowulf is trying to convince the King of the Danes to let him defeat the monster Grendel.
This is something that Achilles said showing that he wanted to go fight. They both exhibited excessive pride which shows they are heroes because all heroes are prideful. “You overlook this, dogface, or don’t care, / and now in the end you threaten to take my girl, / a prize I sweated for, and soldiers gave me!” (Book 1, ℓ 187-189). This quote shows Achilles’ pride in the gifts he received for fighting. Both Achilles and Hector want to fight and show excessive pride throughout the whole epic.
Although they differ vastly in their approach and their path to heroism, their common link is the will to protect those who are unable to defend themselves. Beowulf’s Norse lineage is of a proud, brawny people who pride themselves on physical strength and duty to their liege lord. When he hears that Grendel is terrorizing a poor, defenseless village, immediately he accepts the challenge of freeing them of the monstrous fiend as he seeks glory and fame among his people. In this fictional tale, Grendel is in fact a monster and is described as a direct descendent of Cain with an insatiable thirst for blood. Beowulf closely parallels the first of the thirteen warriors, Buliwyf, who leads a group of Norsemen and a reluctant Arab ambassador to defeat what is described as a monster very reminiscent, if not a full impersonation of Grendel.
However, Beowulf is not a young man anymore. He is now older and has the duty, as king, of protecting his people. So, he sets out to find the dragon and kill it. The passage “BEOWULF ATTACKS THE DRAGON” begins with Beowulf and his men standing outside the cave talking. He mentions that he would rather fight with dragon with no weapons at all like he did with Grendel.
Hektor is one of the Trojan’s leading fighters. People look up to him and expect him to achieve great things. Hektor knows this and his decisions reflect how driven he his for honor and his drive is affects his decision making process. Hektor has a family at home. He and his wife both know that he might die in battle.
Virtue and Community in Beowulf Ramisha Jones ENG 493 January 12, 2015 Michael Angelo Virtue and Community in Beowulf The story of Beowulf is an Old English epic poem that was written in the language of the Anglo-Saxons. It is a fictional story about a heroic hero that was known for his strength and love for the people all around him. He died fighting for his people which are what many of the Anglo-Saxons people viewed as their idea of a hero, Beowulf. Individual virtue and its relationship to the community is very important and much of that is seen in the story of Beowulf. What it means to be good in the world of Beowulf, the relationship between individual prowess or ability and ethical value, the meaning of being a member of the community, the role of the monster in defining virtue and community and the role of language are the importance of individual virtue and its relationship to community are all the many characteristics that can be read in the story of Beowulf.
I think the structure of this poem is in three different parts, Beowulf's fight with Grendel, the fight with Grendel’s mother and the fight with the dragon. This structure relates to the theme of the poem if you look at each monster representing a different moral challenge that tests Beowulf principled code of being fair and worthy. The fight with Grendel shows the importance of a reputation back in the medieval times, because a reputation means you will be remembered and honored beyond your death. And because Beowulf went up against such a terrible villain he will be greatly rewarded and celebrated for his acts of heroism and courage. The first battle takes place in the Herot because of the monster Grendel has been coming to the mead hall at night, terrorizing and eating many of the soldiers that sleep there.