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Comparative Paper: Beowulf and Batman Essay


A superhero is a fictional character that is noted for accomplishments of guts as well as nobility, who typically has a vivid name and outfit, a mastery of pertinent abilities, advanced tools and/or remarkable powers as well as capabilities past those of typical people. A lot more notably, a superhero has a strong moral code, including a readiness to risk his very own security in the service of great without expectation of benefit. Although superhero powers differ widely, the posession of superhuman strength, the ability to fly, and improvements of the senses are all typical.

These abovementioned characteristics of a superhero appear in Beowulf, the primary character in “the longest surviving poem in Old English”, which is additionally qualified Beowulf, by an unidentified author (Online Referral Publication for Middle Ages Studies, 2006). Beowulf showed signs of being a superhero in what Wikipedia has cited as his 3 major battles:

  • First Fight: Grendel– When Beowulf, being the prince of a Germanic tribe from southern Sweden called the Geats, led his men to save the kingdom of Hrothgar of Denmark from Grendel, a “singular ogre” (line 165), who has killed males and brought fear to done in Hrothgar’s cost. Beowulf rips Grendel’s arm from his body as well as Grendel runs residence to pass away, which triggered the Danes as well as the Swedes to be glad.
  • 2nd Battle: Grendel’s Mother– When Grendel’s mommy attacks that same evening Grendel was beat, and took one man to avenge her boy’s death, Beowulf, in addition to his men and the Danes, traveled to the lake where this monster-woman lives, yet the hero studies the water alone, eventually beating the “towering mere-wife” (line 1519) only by utilizing a magic sword he discovers in her cache of treasure (lines 837-1650).
  • Third Battle: the dragon– Beowulf returns residence as well as ultimately ends up being king of his very own people. Someday, late in Beowulf’s life, a man takes a golden cup from a dragon’s lair. When the dragon sees that the mug has actually been taken, it leaves its collapse a rage, melting up everything visible. Beowulf and his warriors pertain to deal with the dragon, however only one of the warriors, a brave boy called Wiglaf, remains to assist Beowulf, due to the fact that the remainder are also afraid. Beowulf kills the dragon with Wiglaf’s aid, but passes away from the injuries he has actually received. The dragon’s treasure is taken from its burrow and buried with Beowulf’s ashes.

These journeys of Beuwolf are somehow being reanimated in today’s superheroes such as Batman, although both stand for an entirely different literary practices. The previous is a 10th century Anglo-Saxon epic poem with a touch of Christianity while the latter is a product of what is called as pop culture– motion pictures, shows or comics that typically has a mass charm. The traditional hero has stamina, ethics; and also, most of all, fights wickedness.

This design applied during Beowulf still uses today, only somewhat customized. As a result of such technologies as television and fashion magazines, society has actually involved worth physical beauty as well as sex-related prowess, as obvious in the example of Batman. In addition, humbleness has become a wanted quality in modern-day times, whereas self-esteem to the point of arrogance was a favorable quality during Beowulf.

Regardless of the distinctions, similarities in between the Anglo-Saxon hero and modern hero can be seen through the contrast of Beowulf and Batman. Beowulf and also Batman both have the heroic quality of toughness. We have actually seen Beowulf’s task in the three fights explained over. Batman, on the other hand, single-handedly fights gangs of wrongdoers on many events in the film “Batman,” showing not only muscle stamina, however endurance, much like that of Beowulf. Batman echoes the heroic strength of Beowulf.

Another brave top quality shared by Batman and Beowulf is their commitment to fighting wickedness. When a villain strikes innocent residents, the hero exists to secure them as well as combat the attacker. This is where the combating of Great versus bad becomes the following major element to the tales of Beowulf and also Batman. The Anglo-Saxons were spiritual people as well as had a strong belief in God. The hero has to eliminate the villain “in person” and never ever stab it in the back. These heroes represent the Great; they are usually straightforward, clean, upright reputable people– an archetype for what a design resident ought to be. Both the stories tell a tale of Good battling versus Evil and after that craving individuals. Both Batman and also Beowulf wear this brave duty to eliminate wicked well.

However, in contrast to Batman, Beowulf, whose primary possession was his fantastic hand strength, not much reference was constructed from his crafty good appearances or his extraordinary knowledge (Rollins, 2006). As Christianity spread throughout Europe, feudal cultures informed stories that integrated their warrior ethos with Christ’s example of personal sacrifice. Regardless of creating a global culture in theory no longer rather as depending on national occupation, the Western globe still often tends to picture our savior hero as “somebody who kicks butt” (consider Neo in The Matrix) (Wandtke, 2005).

Alongside this prevalent trend, nonetheless, a fascinating countercurrent created in the Renaissance and also has reached its optimal over the last few years. This countercurrent recommends the hero who rights the wrongs of the world with force may in fact be harmful to general cultural advancement (as one society’s hero will usually be an additional society’s bad guy). Do our warrior heroes offer us with instances of the heights we can reach as Christians? Or do they operate with moral concepts that operate in opposition to the mentors of Jesus?

Even though the functions have actually transformed for the heroes throughout time their value to the countries has actually not obtained smaller sized. These heroes’ work are likewise as equally crucial as the ones of Beowulf’s day since they play a big role in our culture. Television, radio stations and comic books are a type of enjoyment that permits people to be presented to heroes and leave their troubles as well as lives, as well as act that these heroes would move them into a globe entirely their very own, a world where the great victories over wickedness– even for a moment. For as long as there are severe truths, there is always a space for make-believe.

Worls Cited:

Abrams, M.H. “Beowulf.” The Norton Compilation of English Literary Works. Obtained 22 Apr 2006, <

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