Beowulf and The Odyssey

January 11, 2017 General Studies

After reading Beowulf and The Odyssey I began to compare and contrast the two epics. There are lots of obvious differences and similarities. An obvious similarity is there are heroes in both of these epics. The settings in both epics are similar too. The characters in both are different in many ways though. So the next few paragraphs you will learn the main similarities and differences of these two epics.

Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon epic that puts good against evil. It puts Beowulf against Grendel and Grendel’s mother and in the end Beowulf comes out on top. He fought and beat both Grendel and Grendel’s mother. In The Odyssey all the survivors of the Trojan War had returned home except Odysseus. He was at Calypso’s island and she wouldn’t let him leave. When he finally got to leave he face many problems getting home because Poseidon, god of the sea, was angry with him. In both epics there are several problems that the hero’s face and overcome. In Beowulf it is Grendel and his mother and in The Odyssey the main problems were the gods being angry with Odysseus. .

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While both The Odyssey and Beowulf examples of heroism, Beowulf’s acts of being a hero actually fit the description of a hero more than Odysseus. Beowulf has many heroic qualities that are easy to see. One of his major heroic qualities is his strength during the battle with Grendel. Beowulf also shows many other qualities that prove him to be a great warrior and leader. In the Odyssey, Odysseus shows different qualities of being a hero. The battles that he is in are not ones he has gone out looking for, it seems like most of his battles are some kind of revenge from the gods. Beowulf usually goes and faces the bad guys head up but Odysseus sometimes used a little more trickery like when he fought the Cyclops. He waited until the Cyclops was asleep then blinded him and escaped. So Odysseus had somewhat of an unfair advantage.


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