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Beowulf And Bilbo Essay

817 words - 4 pages

In many literary works centering heroes, not often do you see main heroes in different stories be completely different from each other. Bilbo and Beowulf are considered heroes in their respective stories but they differ greatly in personality and heroics. The image of an epic hero is that they must be a character who has skills unmatched, surly Beowulf would be the perfect example of this but not Bilbo. Before Beowulf’s story starts he had already established himself in reputation and heroic exploits. His character was already formed and developed which is not the case for Bilbo Baggins. Both Bilbo and Beowulf, however, are strong characters in their stories and they both symbolize good and ...view middle of the document...

The Hobbit is actually about the formation of a hero. Bilbo does not start off like Beowulf but as his character develops he shows himself as heroic. A hero embodies good set of values and does not necessarily need to be portrayed like Beowulf. Bilbo is quiet and allows himself to be lead but he is also humble and loyal, all of which are qualities of a hero. The Hobbit shows us, unlike Beowulf with his desire for fame and reputation, Bilbo shows himself by rejecting greed and willingly gives up his share of the treasure. His explanation was simple, "Personally, I am tired of the whole affair. I wish I was back in the West in my own home, where folks are more reasonable. But I have an interest in this matter--one fourteenth share, to be precise…" (250). With Thorin and the other dwarves drowned in greed and stubbornness, Bilbo believes that exchanging the Arkenstone it will help with negotiations with Thorin. This unselfish act would eventually help secure peace and increase cooperation between the two sides. Later Gandalf even commends Bilbo for his actions, “There is always more about you than anyone expects!” (252). As the story progresses, Bilbo displays many other acts of good. This confirms that while Bilbo is not a hero with physical strength, he a hero who symbolises good morals and the will for self-sacrifice.
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