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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Beowulf Essay

Compare Beowulf with a modern hero, both as characters and as symbols of the times in which both were created.  Support your thesis with at least three (3) literary techniques and three (3) textual examples that strengthen and illustrate your ideas for your readers.

     Heroes, past and present, all follow the same goal of using their special abilities to conquer evil.  From Beowulf to Batman this same premise applies.  Generally most modern heroes have special powers outside of general abilities, but Batman doesn't; this is why he so nicely compares to Beowulf's character.  Both Batman and Beowulf use strength and intellect to conquer their villains.  The differing qualities between these two heroes lie behind their intentions of conquering evil.  The intensions of both men correspond with the differing time periods that they exist in.  Beowulf takes on the beast of Grendel with bravado.  Great strength and bravery is what establishes a man and leader during his time period.  Beowulf displays his heroism to prove himself worthy of praise.  Batman, on the other hand, is set on fighting villains for vengeance.  His unstoppable drive for vengeance shows the division between current day good versus evil; the people that create problems and the people that fix them.  Batman's drive to avenge his parents shows the drive of most people in the twenty first century.  Both Beowulf and Batman have similar external characteristics, but their internal thoughts and intensions are derived from the customs and beliefs of their time periods.

     Every story that has a hero must also have a villain.  In Beowulf, Beowulf is the protagonist and Grendel is the antagonist.  Grendel is a monster that hides in the marshes by day and lurks in the halls of Herot by night.  He finds enjoyment in eating the guards in their sleep.  Grendel being characterized as a mythical beast ties into the time period of the story.  Beowulf is a narrative that was passed down for generations.  Grendel's character was exaggerated to make the story more interesting.  Beowulf is portrayed as brave and loyal to make an impact on the audience listening.  The fact that he took on Grendel will no armor or weapons shows how brave he truly is.  In Batman, Batman is the protagonist and the Joker is one of his many antagonists.  Batman captures evil villains committing crimes in Gotham City.  The storyline is fictional, but shows how in present day, heroes are fighting evil people rather than evil monsters.   Batman helping the authorities capture robbers and murders with no super powers creates an idea that anyone can become a hero if they have the right kind of drive.  The different antagonist in each story shows the different intensions in each hero.  Beowulf fights for praise and respect, while Batman fights for justice and inner vengeance.

     The characterization of heroes hasn't changed for centuries.  Comparing Beowulf, one of the oldest heroes in history, to Batman, they don't have very many external differences.  They both take care of the common good by defeating evil, and they both do it using brute strength and knowledge without the cliche superpowers that other modern day superheroes have.

   
       

9 comments:

  1. I thought that this was a really well rounded essay! I thought that your choice of using Batman to compare to Beowulf because they both defeat evil without "cliche superpowers" was very clever. You also captured the idea of the heroes' actions being derived from the customs/beliefs of their certain time periods very well. Throughout your essay, you circled everything back to time periods which made your essay really clear and cohesive. I also liked the use of our vocabulary words!
    You talked about how Beowulf's antagonist was Grendel and you offered a good explanation of Grendel and how he effected Beowulf's character but more information about Batman's enemies would have been helpful. Your clear analysis of Grendel would have been complemented by an equal analysis of someone like the Joker.
    You mentioned that Beowulf's bravery was shown when he fought Grendel without any weapons. I would agree that it did demonstrate Beowulf's bravery but I think that he had other intentions as well. His display of fighting without weapons had do with his pride and ideas of what a hero should be.
    This essay gave a clear argument about the similarities and differences of Beowulf and Batman!

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    1. Thank you for such a detailed analysis Becca. I agree with what you pointed out. Adding in Beowulf's intentions to fighting Grendel without armor would have made my weak sentence about bravery much stronger. I also agree that my examples about Batman and the Joker were weak as well. I had trouble deciding who to compare Beowulf to because I don't have a huge amount of knowledge about modern heroes. I should have done more research to find better supporting examples.

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  2. Your essay is very easy to understand and doesn't dance around the topic; so nicely done! I could be wrong, but would it help specifying which Batman you're referring to? (If it is specifically Christian Bale's portrayal, or just Batman in general). I really liked this sentence: "Grendel's character was exaggerated to make the story more interesting" :)

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    1. Thanks for the input Brenna. This may sound really sad but I have absolutely no background on modern heroes so I don't know the difference between just Batman and Christian Bale's portrayal. I intended for it to be just Batman in general.

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  3. :O This was a really good essay. You analyzed thee characters of Batman and Beowulf so well in your introduction, and wrote it very fluently as well. The only thing that I could think of that would improve your essay would be to provide more evidence to support your awesome breakdown of their characters.

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  4. Melissa, I really enjoyed reading your essay! Your essay was very straight forward and a well supported thesis. Using Batman as a modern hero was a good choice. I was slightly confused at first because your last sentence on the first paragraph just talked about characterization, but later on you mentioned the protagonist, antagonist, and other literary techniques. The only thing you should fix is the third sentence, you need a big "B" for Batman!

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    1. Thanks for your input Miki! I fixed the "b" by the way!

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  5. This is great, Melissa! I liked how you broke down the protagonists as well as the antagonists in the stories rather than sticking to just analyzing the heroes themselves. As Edmond said, I might add some more evidence to support your already strong breakdowns of character but other than that I would say I really liked reading your essay :)

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  6. Melissa, your points are really well written. I feel that the first paragraph had a little too many details for an introduction paragraph, but your thesis at the end was very clear.

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