A hero is a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. A common – day hero in our society would be someone who dresses up to mask their identity, when in reality there are “heroes” everywhere, doing the simplest of things. Heroes are found everywhere and they can be just anyone, maybe someone you wouldn’t even expect. But with all heroes, they all share the same qualities and characteristics; loyalty, honesty, bravery, and self-sacrifice. Spider-Man portrays these qualities through his journey of being a hero and Beowulf of being an epic hero.
Loyalty, the state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments or obligations. Beowulf and Spider-Man share common acts of loyalty, yet they have different upbringings, therefore have different views on loyalty. Beowulf is an epic hero who is continuously being challenged and yet seeming to overcome his obstacles, while Spider-Man is a superhero who was an ordinary hero before he got his extraordinary powers. For example, Spider-Man, in which his human persona is Peter Parker showed loyalty when his friend Harry had found out that Spider-Man was in fact the one to have killed his father. Peter stood by Harry’s side and was loyal to their family despite being hated by all. Where as, Beowulf came to the aid of Hrothgar, whose kingdom was being terrorized by the monstrous beast Grendel.
In the epic poem of Beowulf, The readers have a conceived notion of all heroes whether ancient or modern being exactly the same, when in reality a few lack some of the same characteristics, such as Beowulf being an epic hero defending his people against harmful monsters. Where as Spider-Man, a modern day hero is a mere reflection of who in true depth Peter Parker is in real life. Peter Parker is a young man who is a photographer for a newspaper company in New York and Spider-Man is a hero fighting off crime without being known. People know who Beowulf is and Spider-Man is an alter ego, two heroes. One in the spotlight, hidden from the reality and one who is a gruesome, noble warrior.
Bravery, the possessing and showing of courage, is a critical trait that both Beowulf and Spider-Man both have. People possessing the quality of bravery may face their own fears and deal with their own dilemmas. Beowulf countlessly showed his bravery on three different occasions. He was involved in three separate battles, all where his bravery brought him to victory. He defeated the evil Grendel, his mother and the dragon who thereafter was the cause of his tragic death. His bravery and willingness to fight with everything he had is what made everyone know him, which truly made him a great warrior and an epic hero. Spider-man being bitten by a spider had no idea how to handle this new found responsibility was taken by surprise when he realized that his new found powers could help him better himself and also help others when needed. Spider-man is a brave and honest hero, who despite being told not to pursue his passion of fighting off people and doing good, succeeded in the end. Bravery is a characteristic that takes a real strong person to be recognized for and Spider-man and Beowulf are both brave in their own genuine ways.
Self-sacrifice, the act of sacrificing one’s life to save or benefit another. This is the case with Spider-Man. He performs types of self-sacrifice on multiple different occasions. For example, he sacrifices his health and happiness for the sake of Mary Jane, his love interest. He wants to keep her safe, so he does this by sacrificing his life. As a young man, Peter, at the time, didn’t agree with the decisions of the many different criminals and the vigilantes. They were often his foe and targets, thus causing him to sacrifice his youth, in order to protect his hometown. Beowulf showed his self-sacrifice during his final battle, which happened to be against the fire-breathing dragon. Beowulf successfully defeats the dragon, but tragically dies afterwards. Both heroes showed that sacrificing themselves could be something great or something tragic.
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