How Has Beowulf Changed Over Time Essay

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“I like heroes, and would like to be a hero myself. I suppose we all want that.” This quote, by John Rhys-Davies, displays the true idea that everyone wants to be a hero, although the definition of a hero has changed immensely over time. Beowulf, written over nine thousand years ago by an anonymous monk, does a great job of portraying what the definition of a hero was many centuries ago. Beowulf, the main character, is an extremely strong fighter and in the poem he defeats multiple monsters. He does this task while showing absolutely no fear of anything. The definition of hero that Beowulf depicts is quite different than the definition most people think of for heroes today. When comparing and contrasting the heroic values of Beowulf with those of today’s society, one must consider the following things, who becomes a hero, how they become a …show more content…
In Beowulf was considered a hero, in part, because of his strength. In lines 380-381 these words are used to describe Beowulf, “a thane, they declared, with the strength of thirty / in the grip of each hand.” This shows that in this time period heroes were described as being strong and fierce. Line 399 calls Beowulf a hero, and on that same page, line 418, Beowulf states that his people supported him going to a new land to fight the monster, “because all knew of my awesome strength.” This again proves the connection people had during Beowulf’s time between strength and heroism. Today, although an emphasis is still placed on strength, most people seem to believe that it is not just about strength, but also about the person’s want and effort to better other people’s lives. People today want heroes to make a difference in the world in different ways; not just with brute strength. Heroes today do not just have the characteristic of strength like they did in Beowulf’s time. The characteristics that make up a hero reside in that person’s

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