Beowulf Essay, Research Paper
Beowulf, the protagonist of the epic poem, embodied all of these virtues and lives on in memory because of this. First, generosity was widespread and more greatly valued during Beowulf s time than it is now. It was not merely a virtue, but instead a necessity. Many kings were measured by the extent of their generosity. If Hrothgar had not displayed his gratitude for Beowulf s great deeds he would have been looked down upon. He might be remembered for his lack of charity instead, and that would be the equivalent of going to hell for the early Anglo-Saxons. Everyone wanted to be remembered, but only for admirable things. Being remembered for a shameful life would be much worse than dying. Yea, death is better for liegemen all than a life of shame! Next, courage and strength were also looked highly upon during these pre-medieval times. In our time courage is often seen as foolish or ostentatious, while during Beowulf s time it was seen as admirable and praiseworthy. Slaying the great dragon was not only Beowulf s last act of courage, but also Wiglaf s first. Beowulf eventually died from a wound suffered in this battle and had a tower constructed in his memory. Many other acts of courage were displayed by Beowulf during his lifetime and they also furthered his fame, glory, and story. Beowulf was not only courageous, but he was also the strongest man in the world. He was the mightiest man of valor in that same day of this our life, stalwart and stately. This strength brought him great respect from all. It was the one thing that truly set him apart from all the other men. If one lacked generosity, strength, or courage, one could always just claim to have them. Men during Beowulf s time were very proud and often boasted and exaggerated at any chance they had and its like that today too. While pride and boasting were widespread throughout all of the men they said that they looked down on it. They all knew everyone exaggerated and made up stories, but no one wanted to admit to it. Not only was it commonplace, but it was also effective. No one dared to call someone a liar and boasting was an effective way of getting your story out. If your story was great enough it, as well as you, would never be forgotten. Heroes today can be very different or very similar to heroes long ago whether it is the man who hits seventy home runs or is the one who rescues another in a war? Today many peoples heroes are simply actresses or athletes because its easy to have a favorite athlete or actress but its hard to choose a real hero. A real role model. My hero is Neil Armstrong because I have always wanted to go to the moon and be an astronought. He is simply great. Modern society tendst to like heroes topple because they do not want anyone to have the fame too long. For example: Michael Jackson is now made fun of in the US but he s new to europe so they love him now. OJ Smith also was rejected for doing something wrong and they even took away the things he owned to make up for his mistake. Few heroes last very long. Many just fade away. Some get lucky and others don t. Being a hero also means being looked up to and whatever the deeds, they will be recognized by somebody.