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What Makes a Great Hero Story and Hero?

  • Date Submitted: 12/10/2011 04:23 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 74.9 
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Anita Pegues
Mrs. Tervel
English 2322
24 October 2011

What makes a great hero story and hero? The Dark ages and Medieval ages explore heroism through their stories. These stories contain their hero’s motives for battle, external and internal battles, and the roles of the women in their lives. These themes are represented in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf.
Have you ever wonder what soldiers fight for, or what any soldier fights for? What is their individual motive for battle? One of Beowulf’s motives was to defeat the enemy. “Now I mean to be a match for Grendel, settle the outcome in single combat.” (Beowulf, line 425-426) At least one of his basic goals was to destroy his opponent, even if it would lead to his death. “Now I am old but as king of the people I shall pursue this fight for the glory of winning,” (Beowulf 2512-2514). Sir Gawain also had motives. His first motive was to keep up his reputation. “Wherefore you cannot fail to find me at last; Therefore come, or be counted a recreant knight.” (Sir Gawain 455-456) To keep good word to his name so he had to take on the Green Knight’s challenge. Gawain’s other reason was destiny. “He must bear the blinding blow, For such is fate’s decree:”(Sir Gawain 1286-1287). If he was to die he would, but what or who was he fighting?
Everyone fights something and, or someone, internally or externally. Beowulf had an external and internal battle. His external enemy was Grendel, this was his external battle. “…a life-and-death fight with the fiend. Whichever one death feels must deem it a just judgment by God. If Grendel wins, it will be a gruesome day;” (Beowulf 439-442). He was to defeat a monster. His other battle was internal. Beowulf’s internal battle involved his soul and God. It also involved him keeping his faith in God; he had to maintain his soul as a symbol of and for God. “Now that I have bartered my last breath to own this fortune, it is up to you” (Beowulf 2799-2800).   He gave God...


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