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The Death of an Immortal
Every culture has its heroes. These heroes come in many different shapes and forms. Often times a hero is inhuman, or takes on a supernatural power of some kind at one point in time. The changing into these superhuman powers is often caused by the many years of passing down a story by mouth. It usually begins with a problem that can not be solved by anyone. Then along comes someone who can solve this problem. They solve this problem, and become famous. This is where the legend of a hero comes in to play. In many cases a hero will die in a battle. Usually death is the end of ones life. In the heroes sense, it lives on and on. Stories of them are passed on from parents to kids, to their kids, and so on. This is when the hero becomes immortal. The legend of them goes on and on, and they live on through the stories that are told of them.
The story of Beowulf is an example of a hero story. The original problem arises when the king needs someone to rid them of the monster Grendel who is killing their men. No one has yet been able to rid them of this monster, and Beouwulf is the only man who is able to do so. After he kills Grendel, he begins to gain fame, but his fame grows even more when he kills the beast Grendel's mother also. After doing this, he becomes a hero in the sense that he is looked up to by many, and he is known by all. When he returned to his homeland with the stories of his travel, he is given the kingdom and becomes a king. After reigning for many good years a problem arises, and he is needed in battle against a dragon. He is doomed to die in this battle, and he does.
In the stories that have gone on about him, things have indeed changed due to the fact that they are stories that were originally passed down by word of mouth. Also the way that some of the battles were won could have also been changed. He also was said to have taken on certain supernatural powers, such as the fact that he could go all day underwater without breathing. No one knows if that was true, or if that was just exaggeration on the storyteller’s part. Even though Beowulf’s life is ended, the stories of his heroism are not yet over. His story of battles will go on forever in his memory. This is how he achieves certain immortality. He will never die in the sense of his stories.
This is how he is an example of an immortal that has indeed died. He did die, but the memory of him in story form will never die. He will live on the pages of books and on the tongues of people forever
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Literature, Fiction, Beowulf, Mythology, Grendels mother, Grendel, Hrothgar, Hero, The Dragon, Hrunting
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