Oedipus Vs. Beowulf Essay, Research Paper
A Comparison of Oedipus and Beowulf
The characters Oedipus and Beowulf represent two different types of heroes. Oedipus is a
tragic hero and characterized by its criterions. He was an influential adult male of stature who had a
tragic defect. While he contributed to his ain ruin, Oedipus was non wholly responsible for it.
He besides learned a lesson from his errors which finally creates a katharsis in the reading
audience. Beowulf, on the other manus, is characterized by the criterions of an heroic poem hero. He
strives for excellence and single glorification by making epic workss. He has an admirable set of
moralss, is great warrior, and is really loyal to his maestro. Beowulf is besides rewarded for his workss
with celebrity and luck. Although both of these work forces are heroes, the single fortunes
which allow them to accomplish this position vary greatly.
Oedipus was a adult male of power and high societal position. This was due to his place as King
of Thebes. He was greatly respected by his people because he had ruled good during his reign as
male monarch. Oedipus did, nevertheless, have a tragic defect which was his inability to command his choler. This
deficiency of self-denial is illustrated when Oedipus kills his male parent in an statement over the right of
manner in a route. Oedipus & # 8217 ; choler is besides exhibited when he yells at the prophesier Tiresias for stating
him the truth about his errors.
Oedipus & # 8217 ; ruin was partly his ain mistake, although it was non wholly deserved.
Oedipus made the picks in his life that brought him into contact with his parents. He besides
choose to kill a adult male in a tantrum of fury. He had control over all of these factors, but it can be argued
that he was destined from the beginning to perpetrate these workss no affair how Oedipus tried to
forestall them. Oedipus & # 8217 ; inability to command his tragic pique finally led him to perpetrate this
awful Acts of the Apostless ( Fergusson 388 ) .
Despite the atrocious Acts of the Apostless committed by Oedipus, he learned a really of import lesson. He
discovered that destiny can non be changed. This was proven to Oedipus when he eventually learned what
he had done through Tiresias. Oedipus, by seeking so difficult to win in his duty to liberate
Thebes from the expletive, caused his ain undoing ( Fergusson 388 ) . This minute of realisation for
Oedipus causes a katharsis of emotion among the audience. They feel commiseration for Oedipus, who
unwittingly and inadvertently committed these workss.
Beowulf is, nevertheless, a wholly different type of hero. Beowulf is surrounded by celebrity,
glamor, and luck. He is an uncommonly great warrior and has performed many heroic efforts.
By the terminal of his life, Beowulf has beaten Brecca in a swimming
race, killed Grendel, killed
Grendel & # 8217 ; s female parent, and exchanged fatal blows with a firedrake. Beowulf is an ideal heroic poem hero. He
knows to perfection the proper etiquette and he has comitatus towards his leaders and seniors. As
to the issue of trueness, Anderson says that he & # 8220 ; depicts the trueness of warrior to chieftain ; of
freewoman, earl, and peasant to their male monarch & # 8211 ; a heart-whole devotedness to which Anglo-Saxon was ready
to give his life & # 8221 ; ( 99 ) .
Beowulf, for the most portion, follows the heroic codification. The lone part he violates is the
call for humane intervention of a fallen enemy. He deviates from this portion of the codification when he beheads
Grendel after his female parent in order to accomplish retaliation for the loss of one of his ain warriors.
Besides this, Beowulf is a adult male of self-respect and Polish. His moral values are by and large baronial, grave,
and brave. His bravery, nevertheless, is believed to be more physical than moral because he
exhibits such super-human abilities ( Anderson 99 ) . These include his dehumanized strength and
brilliant lung-capacity, both of which he uses to get the better of Grendel and his female parent.
As a wages for his great and epic workss to Herot and King Hrothgar, Beowulf was
given enormous wealth and award, As was customary at the clip, he split his luck with the
male monarch of his place land. Beowulf returned to his place where he continued to populate by the heroic
codification until the twenty-four hours of his ruin. Beowulf had a defect that brought about his death. He had a
& # 8220 ; overabundance of heroism and a resulting certitude & # 8221 ; which prompted him to conflict the
firedrake with unequal protection ( Anderson 99 ) .
Both Oedipus and Beowulf were heroes of differing qualities. Oedipus was that of
calamity, while Beowulf was that of victory. Oedipus fit absolutely into the cast of a tragic hero
with his unwitting autumn from power. Oedipus was apparently guided by destiny and could non forestall
his inevitable ruin. Beowulf was a absolutely shaped heroic poem hero of celebrity and glorification. He
possesses uncommon human ability and a really loyal nature. He won the regard of all who came
in contact with him through his champion-like etiquette and self-respect. Although these two
characters represented wholly different types of heroes, they shared one of import similarity.
Each had a tragic defect that caused their death.
Anderson, George K. & # 8220 ; The Old English Heroic Epic Poems. & # 8221 ; Rpt. in Classical and Medieval
Literature Criticism. Vol. 1. Eds. Dennis Poupard and Jelena O. Krstovic. Detroit: Gale,
Furgusson, Francis. & # 8220 ; Oedipus Rex & # 8217 ; : The Tragic Rhythm of Action. & # 8221 ; Rpt. in Classical and
Medieval Literature Criticism. Vol. 2. Ed. Jelena O. Krstovic. Detroit: Gale, 1988.