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Beowulf Essay

935 words - 4 pages

Williams 1Williams 4Ryan WilliamsMs. FosterEnglish IIISeptember 12, 2014A Hero and His Heroic FriendWhen the first part of September rolls in, there is a topic that always comes up regarding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001: the heroes who did not think twice about going to help those in need. Regardless of what time period in history, there are always heroes who are remembered for the things they do. In the classic epic poem of "Beowulf," the protagonist, Beowulf, leaves his homeland in order to help defeat a dangerous monster. Beowulf fights with the monster, nicknamed Grendel by the locals, and continues to lead the fights with more monsters as the story progresses. Beowulf has a supporting cast of fourteen men who stand by their lord's side and fight along side of him. He is joined on these adventures by Wiglaf, his closest friend and most loyal companion. Beowulf and Wiglaf, throughout the plot, are illustrated as the two main heroes in this story. With Wiglaf by his side, Beowulf continues to rise to the challenge and is heroic in his efforts to stop evil. Although Wiglaf is undoubtedly a hero, Beowulf is the most heroic character displayed in this story.In order for one to decide on which character is most heroic, one must know what it means for a person or character to be heroic. A hero is a person who provides or restores good to his/her people. Their decisions are not based on themselves, but on the interests of others. Their selfless attitude transcends social structure or positions in life. Their character and compassion, regardless of their position in life, defines these heroes and they rise above themselves, doing what they can with what they have.Based on this definition, the reader can easily say that Wiglaf is a hero. He is strong, fearless, valiant, loyal, and is willing to die in order to save his lord. Beowulf's greatest companion never strays away from the action, and the best demonstration of Wiglaf's heroism occurs during Beowulf's final battle. Wiglaf rises to the occasion in order to bravely fight alongside Beowulf in the battle against the dragon. Although the situation is very dangerous for both men, Beowulf and Wiglaf stand their ground and fight until they defeat the dragon, saving the kingdom. The two men come out of the fight as victors and Wiglaf obtains the dragon's treasures, while Beowulf is critically injured and dies as a result of his wounds. Wiglaf stands by his king until the very end and agrees to relentlessly comply with Beowulf's final wishes. When the kingdom experiences the death of their great and successful king, Wiglaf swiftly accepts the crown from Beowulf, and he takes a firm hold on the kingdom during...

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