Legendary Heroes Essay, Research Paper
Beowulf teaches two important lessons in the final battle with the dragon and Beowulf’s death. The first is that through death one can attain greater life. The second is similar, but invariably different, it is the fact that heroes are created by history.
The first lesson is learned not only at Beowulf’s funeral, but also with his entire attitude towards attacking the beast. Beowulf’s determination and bravery point to his hopes that in the afterlife he will achieve greater status through his deeds of daring do.
In his funeral, we see the beginning stages of the second lesson. In the funeral, his loss was greatly mourned and warriors attended from all over. It is through acts such as this that heroes begin their remembrance. It starts with a valiant man’s funeral and eventually, his courage and valor are reported the world over. This is how history starts to remember heroes, and before long such feats are taught to us in history and literature classes.
I mean in no way to put a negative connotation on heroism, I merely aim to tell the truth on how legends, myths, and history are formed. It starts with the slaying of a wolf or bear while defending the flock of sheep, or becoming a soldier in an army that fights a significant battle, and before too long stories are told, and boasts are made and even sometime during your life you find your name written down in a history book somewhere amongst the pages of other “heroes” such as Gilgamesh, Beowulf, King Arthur, George Washington, or General Patton.