Literature More Specifically Mythology Term Paper

Length: 3 pages Subject: Literature Type: Term Paper Paper: #22110743 Related Topics: World Literature, Beowulf, Beowulf Grendel, Greek Mythology
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … Greek Hero Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey and the Northern Hero Beowulf in the saga BeoWulf, discussing how either can be heroes and arguing in some ways that it is more than deeds that marks a hero, but also the way in which they behave and relate to others. Bibliography cites 2 sources.

Beowulf and Odysseus: the Most Unlikely of Heroes

From two different cultures come two of the most famous stories ever to be told, one comes from the enlightened eras of classical Greece and concerns that most turbulent time faced by one of Greece's many heroes Odysseus, the story is "The Odyssey" the story of a man's struggle to return home after the battle of Troy, as he fights the will of the many Olympian Gods, witches, and sirens to seek the beloved embrace of his wife and the love of his son.

Yet over a thousand years later another epic again told in the traditional style of the bard was born, this time from the North the story of the Anglo-Saxon hero Beowulf and his fight to save the people of Thane from the evil Bog Monster Grendel and his Mother the hag, further more the saga of BeoWulf tells of his fighting the great Dragon and finally of his death.

The idea of a hero is someone who does something extraordinary in the face if great danger or at great personal cost. A hero may be a man who looks to achieve great deeds, but may equally be placed in a position where they need to achieve great things.


The classical hero, as seen in terms of literature such is that of the classic Beowulf and that of Odysseus also processes great strength and intellect in ordure that the may both be used to overcome a foes.

It is also traditional for a hero to also have many other favourable characteristics, if we look at both Beowulf and Odysseus then we will also see aspects such as a gentle nature and loyalty. Therefore we can argue that the determination of a hero is not only deeds, but the motivations and personality that will be the deciding factor on if a person is or is not a hero.

Beowulf is Ectheow's son, he is almost a superman with his strength and the way that he shoulders social responsibility. There is also the argument that we can see in this that a hero needs to be judged by kings, and it is more than simply the deeds themselves that mark a man as a hero. The reason and motivation for the actions need to be considered. If these dangers are faced for the reason of personal gain then the heroic purpose does nit exist, only the desire for personal gain.

In a hero there will be noble purpose and the ability and willingness for the hero to undertake the actions where there is no personal gain, only the upholding of ideals. In the poem of Beowulf he fulfils all of these criteria, but…

Sources Used in Documents:


Anonymous, 'Beowulf' [online] access at;(2001)

Homer 'The Oddessy' Noonday Press; (1998)

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"Literature More Specifically Mythology", 10 July 2002, Accessed.11 August. 2022,

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