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Word Count: 573
Websters dictionary defines the word hero as 1 a a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b an illustrious warrior c a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d one that shows great courage Personally I define a hero almost exactly the way the dictionary does I feel that heroes should have certain qualities such as courage compassion and a sense of justice These are qualities that heroes old and new should possess I feel that Beowulf had these qualities and I hope to show that he would be considered a hero even today A great example of how Beowulf possessed courage is found on lines 261-269 when he speaks to Hrothgar about fighting Grendel In those lines Beowulf says My lord Higlac might think less of me if I let my sword go where my feet were afraid to if I hid behind some broad linden shield my hands alone shall fight for me struggle for life against the monster Basically Beowulf has decided to fight the monster with his bare hands Which to me shows his bravery Our heroes of today show bravery as well Such as the firefighters who on September 11th ran into burning towers without even looking back They were willing to risk their lives to save the lives of others Just like Beowulf did to rid Herot of Grendel Beowulf shows compassion when he travels to Herot to cleanse it of Grendel You know his intentions are true in lines 259 - 261 when he says That this one favor you should not refuse me that I alone with the help of my men may purge all evil from this hall Not once does Beowulf ask for compensation of any kind He is ridding them of Grendel out of the kindness of his heart There is a modern day hero who until she passed away
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