Beowulf: Similarities Between A Hero And A Villain

Superior Essays
A hero and a villain are two of the characters that appear in almost every movie we see. On one hand, I see a hero as a being that fights against evil to see more good happening in the world. On the other hand, a villain for me is a person who does evil to the world because its heart is filled with pure evil. In the poem Beowulf and the book Grendel, both of these characters are described differently, using both hero and villain features. In the two pieces of literature Grendel and Beowulf are portrayed as a villain and as a hero. In the novel and the poem Grendel is portrayed as a classic villain and Beowulf is portrayed as a modern hero.
Grendel is symbol of a classic villain. A classic villain is “a cruelly malicious person who is involved
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A modern hero is “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities” (Hero). He is a symbol of this because even though there are two ways Beowulf is described, in both works of literature he is admired for his actions. In the poem, Beowulf is described as a perfect hero, giving him all the qualities a modern hero needs. They describe him as loyal, strong, and a courteous man. In the book, Beowulf is seen as a harsh figure that has inhuman powers and his personality as cold as an ice block. Regardless of the perspective from where the character is judged, people admire him for defeating Grendel and for his noble qualities. The poem talks about when he killed Grendel and his mother, and how his victory made the people of Denmark look up to him for being a brave man with an incredible ability to fight. After his young man phase, we see the adult part of him where he again shows his qualities by respectfully letting Hygelac’s son be the king because he was the original heir, and with this he proves he is ready for the throne. In the book, his fight with Grendel was the salvation of the country because without it, they would have lost more soldier lives because of the fact that he ate their heads’ off and no one had ever stopped him. This makes the people believe that Beowulf was a classic hero. Beowulf had the respect and support of his people and this makes him a hero in the eyes of the people he …show more content…
Grendel is shown as a classic villain because of his actions and the way he shows himself to the humans. Beowulf is the image of a modern hero where people admire him for his actions and his hero-like qualities. In the novel and the poem both characters are described thoroughly through their actions and through these people judge their personalities. These two characters are a great example of modern heroism and classic

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