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.