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A Modern Day Beowulf
George Bush, president of the United States of America, is a very great and powerful figure in our country. Although he is not physically strong like the hero in the folk epic “Beowulf”, he has the same authority and state of mind. Beowulf and George Bush are both recognized as heroes, along with this recognition, sadly, comes judgment and possible disapproval of a society.
On September 11th 2003, the world was in complete chaos. Everyone was hoping and seeking to find some type of comfort to get us through this tragedy. This situation can be compared to the Danes the morning after Grendel attacked their warriors. The author describes this by stating, “At daybreak, with the sun’s first light, they saw/ How well he had worked, and in that gray morning/ Broke their long feast with tears and laments/ For the dead” (41-44). The Danes and the Americans both went through feelings of helplessness, they both saw there worlds fall to pieces. They both were looking for a way to help cope in stressful times. Both of these nations eventually find the heroes that they are looking for. The Danes are vulnerable and looking for basically anyone to help them. The Danes are so desperate that when an outsider comes to help them out with their problem, the Danes, after little questioning, are more then willing to accept a Geaten man named Beowulf as their hero. Americans, on the other hand, have a man in their own nation that acts as their modern day Beowulf. America’s hero is President George Bush. These men step up, take on roles as protectors of these countries, and help the countries get through their dreary trials. Having a heroic figure in the Dane’s and American’s lives during painful times, help comfort the people and help overcome the tragedy that has occurred. George Bush and Beowulf give the Americans and the Danes the motivation to recuperate and become a successful strong country again. Society accepts heroes when they are in a time of need with little or no judgment, until they no longer need help. Beowulf and George Bush display their heroic qualities by not only helping the countries recuperate from their enemies, but also they take action to avenge these countries and make sure nothing like this ever happens to these countries again. Beowulf does this by killing the enemy. Beowulf states,”Perhaps/ Hrothgar can hunt, here in my heart,/ For some way to drive this devil out-/ If anything will ever end the evils/ Afflicting your wise and famous lord./ Here he can cool his burning his sorrow” (173-78). Beowulf exhibits a heroic quality when he states that he wants the Danes to have peace and the only way for the Danes and the Danish king to have peace is to demolish their enemy. George Bush portrays this same quality by taking immediate action against the American’s enemy. In the beginning of both of these ominous situations, George Bush and Beowulf have no selfish intentions, all they want to do, as any true hero would do, is to avenge and protect the people with no personal motivation. Even then the society thinks it’s odd that heroes want nothing in return, they think it’s impossible for a man to have an altruistic characteristic like this. The society usually disapproves because they think the hero has some hidden motives.
Heroes are found everywhere fighting their own enemies each and everyday. True heroes however, are hard to find. A true hero consists of not only stopping the enemy, but also deleting the enemies’ allies and preventing anymore tragedy. Beowulf proves himself to be a true hero, not only when he destroys the Dane’s main enemy, but also when he destroys the enemy’s ally, which in this story is the enemy’s mother. The author describes this scene by stating, “…And then, savage, now, angry/ And desperate, lifted it high over his head/ And struck with all the strength he had left,/ Caught her in the neck and cut it through,/Broke bones and all. Her body fell/ To the floor, lifeless, the sword was wet/ With her blood, and Beowulf rejoiced at the sight”(492-97). This segment describes how much Beowulf wants to kill the enemy,
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Beowulf, Geats, English-language films, Anglo-Saxon paganism, English folklore, Hrothgar, Grendel, Unfer, The Dragon
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