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Word Count: 1,516
Throughout the two epics Beowulf and Gilgamesh and the novel Grendel we see certain heroic characteristics of the main characters Although Beowulf Grendel and Gilgamesh all come to a heroic end they differ in way in which they came to that end In Beowulf we read of a great warrior who cares about nothing but honor and his people In Gilgamesh we see a man who comes to a realization of his mortality and then does all he can to overcome that weakness Finally in Grendel we see a monster that was born in a cruel world and comes to a cruel endingThroughout the epic poem of Beowulf we not only read of the heroism of Beowulf himself but the guile of the antagonist Grendel By the fifth chapter Beowulf is showing a characteristic that was vital to a Greek hero He is boasting of his accomplishments He tells of how he once fought a serpent in the open ocean This might not seem to heroic but you must attempt to become an archeological reader to begin fully understanding why this is so heroic During the fist century of this millenium one of the many things that scared people and continues to do so today is the unknown Beowulf braved the unknown on not only land but also where man has never belonged He braved the unknown in the ocean Grendel throughout the poem is however shown in a different light He is a monster He is a descendant of the first murderer Cain He kills simply for sport He relishes in the blood of mankind He is a monster who knows no boundsIn Grendel however the point of view of the reader has changed We now read from the point of view of the monster We see how he has been born into a world where he understands next to nothing and does not even have the comfort of a true mother He can
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