Has someone ever went out of their way to help you? In the summer of 2012, I won a calf in the Snake River Stampede Calf Scramble. I decided to buy a heifer from Bill and Beverly White of Hyde Angus Ranch. They had excellent cattle and seemed very eager to help me in any way possible. They gave all the help and support I needed in raising my heifer, including breeding her and raising the calf. I was very amazed at the White’s generosity. They went out of their way to help me, and were in no way obligated to do so. I was surprised by their eagerness to teach and help me. Not only did I learn a lot about cows, but I also learned how great it is to help people, simply by watching them. They seemed to get a lot of enjoyment out of helping me learn. It also taught me that helping others is a great way to find happiness and fulfillment. In the same way the Whites helped with obligation, we see many examples of this in the following texts. The people from the stories demonstrate the differences and unique qualities/traits, from the brave to the evil and those with less drastic characteristics.
We see an excellent example of generous helpfulness in the story Beowulf. Beowulf generously volunteers himself to attempt to kill the cruel monster Grendel who has been murdering and terrorizing the Danes. When he arrives, he loudly proclaims now he will destroy Grendel without weapons and his “hands alone shall fight for me, struggle for life against the monster” (26.111-112). While he is doing a great service, he seems slightly arrogant. He also ambushes Grendel, instead of openly calling him to battle. While what he is doing is good, one might suppose he could be less prideful, and go about the task in a quiet, humble manner; especially when it came time to fight, he quickly lost his swagger. in fact, when it came time to fight Grendel, he stooped to the monsters style of fighting, and we soon find the monster is a coward.
In contrast to Beowulf, Grendel is far from a hero. In fact, he is opposite, the of the story. He is a crafty murderer and kills for the fun of it. He descends on the Danes at night, wreaking havoc and destruction. He seems huge and terrible, fearing nothing. However, when confronted by Beowulf, he turns into a coward. He whimpered and “fought for his freedom, wanting no flesh but retreat, desiring nothing but escape…”(28. 66-69). While it is clear that Grendel is polar opposite to Beowulf, they share one thing. They both ambushed their victims instead of open confrontation. It is interesting that both the hero and the villain share a strategy, yet we consider one good and the other evil. One uses the strategy to do good, the other uses it to kill people. However these characters have set agendas that are planned and thought through. The other characters we examine are different.
Are all heros good people? Robin Hood steals from the rich and gives to the poor, but also saves his fellow “criminals”. In this story of Robin Hood, he finds that...