Riveting tales of fortune, valor, and heroism he kind of tale where this larger then life characters go off on epic adventures in search of honor and treasure and also fight some amazing foes along the way. These tales can come in many different styles, themes, and ways they are told, but one thing all of these stories have in common is an epic hero. But what is a hero? To me a hero is a person the stands up for the ones that cant help themselves, a person that no matter the challenge will persevere, and a person that will sacrifice it all for the people he or she loves. That brings me to my heroes Beowulf and Batman these two characters are perfect example of these traits they show this though their selfless deeds and displays that they have performed over the years. And starting it off we will talk about the amazing feats of Beowulf and his heroic traits in his epic poem.
Beowulf show strength in battle like no other of his kind he battles with the fiercest of monsters just for the common good and well, for mounds of treasure. Beowulf shows one of the heroic traits I have talked about quite early in his story he travels across the sea in search of the Geats because their mead hall is being terrorized by a terrible monster named Grendel. He shows his willingness to help others even when no other man could fight this beast he took on the challenge and he won too. Second, Beowulf shows his determination because after his fight with Grendel he has thought he had won and the mead hall was safe, but he was proved wrong when Grendel’s mother comes for a visit and kills Beowulf’s men. This would be a time where a man not as great would of ran with his tail between his knees but not Beowulf he took on this challenge and went right to her lair and killed her too.
This man just can not be stopped well at least by these petty monsters. After Beowulf returns home and he becomes a king after many long years ruling his nation he decides he need one last battle the battle that will get him all the riches for his people they would ever need, so he hear about a dragon with hordes of treasure just waiting to be plundered. He goes into this battle knowing he will be making the ultimate sacrifice. He knows that on this trip he will die but he pushes onward for honor and glory. He does kill the dragon but not without paying the price he got all of the treasure but he would not be around to use it he gives it to his people and says that his life is done and he is ready to ride on the path that all warriors must take when it is their time. This shows what a hero Beowulf really is.
The second hero that I think embodies what a hero stands for is The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader, but I like to call him Batman. Batman just as Beowulf is a human he has no extraordinary powers he it just a normal man with traits that make him larger then life a superhero if you will. Batman also has the classic heroic quality of strength. Batman single-handedly fights gangs of criminals on numerous occasions in the movie “Batman,” showing not only muscular strength, but endurance, much like that of Beowulf. Batman echoes the heroic strength of Beowulf. Batman and Beowulf also have strong codes of ethics.
Batman often releases criminals after a fight instead of killing them. The criminals were not an immediate life threat, so Batman did not feel it was right to kill them. His code of ethics does not allow for murder, therefore Batman kills only when absolutely necessary. Batman also shows his sacrifice in the movie The Dark Knight Rises at the end a bomb is about to blow and he takes it into his own hands to save all of the people in the city by taking the bomb out into sea blowing it up over the water somehow he got away, but he was willing to make the sacrifice for the people of his city. In these ways these to characters are very similar, but that does not mean that they do not have their differences.
Lastly these two men on the outside look very similar but if you take a hard look down to their core beings they do have some minor differences. One way is Beowulf received rewards for his heroism, including wealth and being made a king. He was primarily interested in glory and in the original poem it was his pursuit of glory that eventually led to his death at the claws of the dragon. Bruce Wayne is the opposite. He already has wealth and power, but he doesn’t really care. His focus is on doing good deeds, for which he adopts an anonymous persona. He gets no glory or personal reward from his heroism. Second is the reason that they fight Beowulf is a glory hog. His primary motivation to fight is the prestige of winning. Beowulf does not kill Grendel or Grendel’s mother just because they are wicked, but also to gain even more. Beowulf also has an over-developed sense of his own prowess as a warrior.
He orders his men to stay behind and wait while he goes off to single-handedly battle Grendel’s mother and fifty years later he gives the same order before marching off to fight the treasure-hoarding dragon. Beowulf accepts help from his nephew, Wiglaf, only after the dragon begins to win. Beowulf was a great warrior, but too full of pride to allow others to help him. Batman’s motivation to fight is revenge. He wages war on crime to avenge the murder of his parents. Perhaps Bruce Wayne felt responsible for their death because he could not do anything to stop it and became Batman as a way to atone for his perceived failure to protect his parents. In order to do this, Wayne’s superhero alter-ego must often work outside the law, making his relationship with the police tenuous. He is, after all, an overzealous and extremely violent vigilante. Lastly one of the biggest differences is that Beowulf fight for fame and glory he wants everyone to know who he is and for everyone to praise him. Batman on the other hand keeps his identity a secret he only wants what is best for the people he does not care about the glory.
Seeing these to epic heroes up close and personal saving the ones they love, fighting for what they believe in, and never backing down. This is the measure of a real hero and these two men have hit the nail on the head, because they have all the traits necessary to be considered a great hero. Now that these two characters have been looked at in more detail and shown that they are quite similar I think it might be time for them to get back out there and protect their fair cities for honor and for Beowulf mounds of treasure.