Positioned in a cave the Spartan force had the upper hand as the Persians could only attack from the front on the other hand the Persians were in huge numbers which could over run the Spartans. Respectfully, the Persian army gave way for their brave leader to speak up to the Spartans and lead them in battle. On his jet black horse rode through to the front of his army and ordered ‘’SPARTANS! LAY DOWN YOUR WEAPONS’’. There was silence making it clear the Spartans weren’t listening, when he was about turn he saw something in the air coming his way suddenly he knew what it was and the coward inside him
A hero is is often defined by certain qualities, looked upon traits. A true hero does not fear death or, but instead risks all that he is for what he believes to be right, moral, and just. Beowulf is an epic that tells the story of a legendary hero, conquering all obstacles as if he was immortal. In the narrative epic poem, Beowulf, the great Anglo-Saxon hero, engages in three main battles. Beowulf approaches each of these three battles in a different way and with a different strategy in mind.
The feud between Agamemnon and Achilles, the greatest of the Greek warriors, was depicted at the beginning of both works and was very important in creating the epic hero. Since Achilles despised Agamemnon, he refused to fight the Trojans and join the war, which resulted in many deaths among the Greeks (Spark Notes: The Iliad). Achilles rage towards Agamemnon swifts towards the Trojans when Patroclus is killed by Hector; the mightiest Trojan warrior. In the poem, Patroclus is Achilles’ friend, but in the movie, he is Achilles’ cousin. Even though the bond between a family member is usually closer than a bond between a friend, the bond depicted through both works was notably the same; strong, close, and loving.
What made Achilles such an honorable hero was the fact that he fought for his own pride, not the desire to conquer the war. Although throughout the war, Achilles character flaws impede his ability to fight and act with integrity. His insurmountable rage is the epitome of these flaws, showing vibrantly through his rage for Agamemnon and ultimately destroying his integrity. His never ending lust for glory is the reason why his rage surmounts from a poisoned pride, which is his real Achilles’ heel. This arrogance leads him to becoming slightly obsessed with retaining his pride and not letting anyone slight his bravado.
Even their definition of what is right or wrong may be different than other people. The heroes in the Beowulf and Iliad stories are Beowulf and Achilles, which show some of the basic heroic traits. I will compare and contrast the traits that make Beowulf and Achilles heroes, which are strength, speed, and bravery. Beowulf’s most interesting and heroic trait is his strength. In the story of Beowulf there are many demonstrations of Beowulf’s superhuman strength, but there is one event that stands out the most.
As the Green Knight comes to King Arthur’s court, he causes a scene, which then invites everyone to "give a blow and take a blow". Even though this trial appears easy, it still puts Gawain in a conflict and makes him fear his life with the Green Knight. After this, the Green Knight still is not the main enemy whom the hero must overcome in this story. Throughout his quest, Gawain is still challenged against this stereotype and does not always win, as he must face temptation and the qualities that do not live up to a typical hero’s standards. For Shrek, he fights just like a hero would when he approaches the castle with the fire breathing dragon.
Physical strength was very much embraced by the Anglo-Saxon culture. Beowulf could slay the greatest monster of all, Grendel. Beowulf killed Grendel; Grendel had never come to such a match among a stronger person "That shepherd of evil, guardian of crime knew at once that nowhere on earth had he met a man whose hands were harder". This shows the physical strength that Beowulf embodied. Beowulf was fearless of all opponents and fought to defend his fame and glory.
An epic hero consists of a hero who is larger than life. Beowulf is unquestionably a perfect example of this hero because of the amazing acts of heroism he commits. Beowulf clearly contains many epic characteristics. Firstly, epic characters hold high positions like being born noble, but the epic hero must also be more than that. He must be able to perform outstanding deeds, be greater than the average character, and be of heroic proportions.
The Achilles of ancient Greek legend is often counted among the greatest of epic heroes for his fantastical exploits during the Trojan War as depicted by Homer in the Iliad. While it is easy to become seduced by the power and might of invincible Achilles we must remember to not confuse unchecked power with heroism. While Achilles is indeed powerful, a master warrior by all qualifications, he fails as a hero to be imitated or idolized due to his lack of restraint, his barbarity, his lack of a code of conduct, his impiety and his dishonorable behavior. Achilles wields great courage and fortitude but he is also is critically deficient in the other (perhaps more important) cornerstones of the epic hero: temperance, prudence and a sense of justice or magnanimity. It is the intemperance of the man, famously referred to as the “rage of Achilles,” which is perhaps his tragic flaw, a failing which resulted in the unnecessary deaths of untold scores of Greeks and Trojans and nearly spelled complete destruction for the Greek fleet.
God was the most powerful of all, and thus there were no conflicts pitted against him, thus he wouldn’t make good for an epic hero. Satan however, who had been defeated by God because he was “against the throne and monarchy of God and raised impious war in Heaven and battle proud with vain attempt. Him, the Almighty power hurled headlong flaming from the ethereal skies with hideous ruin and combustion down to bottomless perdition, there to dwell” (42-47). Satan was a figure that had major obstacles to overcome in order to achieve his goals. Historically, epic heroes in epic poetry shared some similar characteristics which will be further discussed, thus it seems like Milton felt the obligation to make Satan the epic hero in Paradise Lost because the characteristics he had in the poem were synonymous to those of previous epic heroes such as Odysseus which will also be further explained throughout the paper.