ENG2131 - Assignment 1.pdf - 1 A central theme of this...

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1. A central theme of this course has been the changing ways in which authors create the idea of the hero. Choosing two of the novels studied on the course compare and / or contrast the ways that the authors address the significance of differing portrayals of the hero their novels. In lecture we discussed what made up a character that typically served the role of a hero, and usually protagonist, in a story. The conclusion we came to is that the hero is often someone who is significant in some way, someone special. The hero is often superior to their peers in whatever skills is necessary to fight whatever evil/antagonist is present in their stories. Beyond superior strength and intellect the hero is also often of “superior” birth to the average human, for example, a demi-god. The hero also is often in possession of the ability to do something no one else can, for example, be the only one able draw the only sword capable of vanquishing the beast. However, this was mostly true in very old stories. Modern writing is constantly challenging what the hero can be. We can see two very different portrayals of the hero by Gareth Hinds in his graphical interpretation of Beowulf and by J.R.R. Tolkien in The Hobbit. Firstly, we have Beowulf , the protagonist, of the same name, seems to completely fit in with what we have classically defined as a hero. This makes sense as Beowulf is based on an incredibly ancient piece of work, and this kind of hero was a lot more popular and a lot more interesting to the people of that time. Beowulf is related to royalty, making him of superior birth.

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