epic heroes - Murdock 1 Zak Murdock Mrs Flick Academic...

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Murdock 1 Zak Murdock Mrs. Flick Academic English 12 12 October 2007 Epic Heroes In today’s society one may think of a hero as someone with superhuman powers who saves the world such as Superman. Although epic heroes may not be able to fly or have x-ray vision, they are considered heroes nonetheless. An epic hero is one who is often possessed with supernatural abilities, charged with a quest, and is tested beyond his or her abilities. Most epic poems contain epic heroes. In these poems the hero is usually the main focal point. In Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight , Beowulf and Sir Gawain both classify as epic heroes due to the facts they both possess supernatural abilities, both are charged with an enduring quest, and both are tested far beyond their abilities. All heroes, epic or not, possess abilities unlike the ordinary person. Beowulf and Sir Gawain both indeed boast qualities uncommon to the ordinary person. Beowulf, a very confident and proud warrior, is gifted with strength and confidence every man wishes for. Beowulf exhibits his supernatural strength on a number of occasions. One occasion his strength is shown, is the battle with Grendel. “He twisted in pain, and the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder snapped, muscle and bone split and broke. The battle was over, Beowulf had been granted new glory,” (Raffel 24). The detailed description of Grendel losing his arm displays Beowulf’s supernatural strength in which he defeated Grendel with his bare hands. While no weapons could harm Grendel,
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Murdock 2 Beowulf exhibited his hero characteristics by ripping Grendel’s arm off, and sending him home to die. His heroic acts had saved Hrothgar and his people from further torture from the evil fiend. Not only did he exhibit great strength against Grendel, but Beowulf also exhibited unbelievable strength while fighting Grendel’s mother. “He raised his arms and seized her by the shoulder; anger doubled his strength, he threw her to the floor,”(Raffel 27). This portion of text displays the brute unnatural strength that Beowulf possesses. Not only does Beowulf exhibit great strength, but he also exhibits great self- confidence every man wishes he had. Before journeying to fight the dragon, which would unknowingly be his last battle, Beowulf states, “I would rather not use a weapon if I knew another way to grapple with the dragon and make good my boast as I did against
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2010 for the course PHYSICS 213 taught by Professor Padamsee during the Spring '10 term at Cornell.

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epic heroes - Murdock 1 Zak Murdock Mrs Flick Academic...

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