Beowulf Vs. Odysseus Essay, Research Paper
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Beowulf and Odysseus
Reading through Beowulf I began to compare it to the last great heroic poem I read, Homer s The Odyssey. While The Odyssey and Beowulf are each illustrations of both historic and modern thoughts of gallantry, the Acts of the Apostless of Beowulf s hero seem to suit better within its context.
Beowulf exhibits many obvious heroic qualities, such as his strength and assurance in conflict. These along with more elusive diplomatic actions serve to specify him as both a great warrior and leader.
Beowulf shows both humor and forbearance in his Swift rejoinder after Unferth challenges his accomplishment. Later, after turn outing himself by dismembering Grendel, he accepts Unferth s blade to confront Grendel s female parent. This offering can be seen as an act of apology or forfeit on Unferth s portion and reveals another side of the hero: forgiveness. Beowulf did non deny Unferth his penitence, nor did he roast him upon his amour propre.
In contrast with Beowulf s concrete word pictures of good versus immorality, The Odyssey focuses more on the grey countries of penalty and retaliation. A chief subject throughout the verse form is retribution, either by the Gods or by adult male, and the unforgiving universe of The Odyssey reflects in its hero s actions. Indeed upon Odysseus return to Ithaca he is about bloody-minded, taking non to uncover himself as king to drive away the suers, but alternatively to stay clip in the pretense of a mendicant until he can butcher all who ve wronged him.
Beowulf s wrath is fleet and justified. He plays no games with his oppositions. Beowulf even shows regard to his enemy and uprightly faces them with no undue advantage.
A authoritative illustration of the award normally associated with heroes prevarications in Beowulf s determination to utilize neither blade nor armour when confronting the monster Grendel in Heorot. Beowulf alternatively opted, in the name of just drama, to contend the monst
Er on it s ain footings. Unsurprisingly Beowulf conquered his enemy in true idolic signifier, rupturing Grendel s arm from his trunk with merely the strength of his clasp and the power of his weaponries. This is what we cheer for in such narratives, this is the fulfilling triumph over evil by the true incarnation of good: the hero.
Odysseus confrontation with the great Cyclops, Polyphemus, looks cowardly and dishonourable by comparing. Where Beowulf courageously stood and fought Grendel with merely his bare custodies, Odysseus waits for Polyphemus to steal into an alcoholic coma before blinding him. Subsequently he uses this disability to get away.
In contrast to the aristocracy of Beowulf in the conflict with Grendel, Odysseus traffics with Polyphemus seem about petty. Odysseus chooses to look into his award at the door in favour of hocus-pocus and fraudulence.
Beowulf embodies all the things we normally associate with gallantry: diplomatic negotiations, assurance, strength, intelligence and more. His aristocracy and benevolence is displayed competently in his traffics with Unferth, in his route to the Geatish throne, and his actions upon obtaining it. Beowulf s heroic conflicts, and even his dramatic decease at the custodies of the great firedrake, serve to paint a portrayal picturing the true literary hero.
This unchecked gallantry does transport with it a few negative intensions, nevertheless. For illustration, it is dry that while we merely follow Odysseus through a fraction of his life in comparing with Beowulf s, the development and development of his character is far more apparent. It is clear that Odysseus learns from his errors and grows as a individual through his escapades, while Beowulf undergoes merely superficial development, turning from male child to adult male.
In the terminal, our society s scheme of heroes are competently fulfilled to a certain extent in both verse forms ; but while The Odyssey tries more to humanise the hero, Beowulf steadfastly solidifies its hero s super-human niche in the annals of history.