A Critical Analysis Of “the Hero,” With References To Beowulf
The similarity of higher guidance in times of need is the easiest and most direct of all the three factors. Most heroes, but not all, live their lives in allegiance to God or another worshiped figure.
Take the story of Beowulf for example. Beowulf was without fear when he faced the monster known as Grendel. This is due to the fact that Beowulf lived a life of faith. Faith in God assured him that win or lose, he was fighting for everything that represented good. He was ready to die, and would be honored to do so, especially in such a dramatic battle of good against evil.
Beowulf’s faith reached so high that when fighting Grendel; he had not a shred of fear. He was positive that he was doing God’s bidding, and for this was the lifestyle a hero should strive to achieve.
The people that followed him and believed him are no different. People have relied on faith throughout time. There are many people that live lives of purity and worship. There are also many people that believe that God has decided their fate already, and they are mere servants living out a script of divine creation.
Although slight differences are present, faith is equally important in the lives of those who embrace it, whether they are a hero or a lowly servant. I believe the correct view on the subject is that no matter who you are, you are still God’s love and servant. This unites every class, as long as they chose to believe it.
Another communal characteristic of heroes and those who follow them is the fact that everyone lives by a code of honor. Heroes live by a higher code of honor than those who follow them.
For heroes, their actions must either all be in accordance with the rules set by their master, or greatly excel the expectations that are held for others. Going out of their way at every possible instance is considered mandatory. The main point of all of this is not that they actually do all these things, but that they proudly enjoy performing the tasks given to them. Everyday people are the same, just less intense. Everyone has a code of honor.
Some have a higher level than others. One person may live by a code of honor consisting of no regulations at all.
Another could live by the regulations that they can’t go against the bible, can’t break the law, and occasionally have to try to be nice to people. In another case, a person could see the minimum code of conduct in their life being to live their life in the footsteps of God, obey all laws, and do every possible act of humanity and good will that they can. The point is that no matter who the subject is, be it hero or zero, everyone has a code of conduct that they chose to live by or disregard.
The choice is for the person to make. Heroes are under great pressure to always do the right thing.
Sometimes doing the right thing is the hardest thing to do. Perhaps being a hero is not so great after all. Trying to live a faithful and honorable life, it can be hard to please everyone. Being a hero means having people know and react to the actions produced by that hero. Therefore, being a hero is synonymous with being a role model. There is no question as to whether or not the hero will strive to the right thing.
But it is possible that others may interpret the hero’s actions incorrectly and doubt the hero’s faith and judgement.
I can see where it could be hard for a hero to accomplish his goals when they are for the benefit of people that don’t care for him. A good hero will overcome this hurdle and realize that his intentions will be condoned and supported in retrospect. People are the same. It doesn’t matter who you are, because everyone looks up to someone and is influenced by his or her actions. It is hard to do the right thing when you have to second-guess every decision in order to please people.
A true hero does what he/she believes is right, and worries what others think only when they have realized that the hero was right all along. In conclusion, despite their extraneous characteristics, heroes have very similar values to the people that follow them due to the facts that: The similarity of a higher guidance in times of need, the similarity of the code of honor that they live by, and the fact that no matter who the hero is, he or she is under pressure to be a successful role model.