Beowulf and a Biblical Character
Hero’s are scattered throughout society. Around every corner there could be a potential heroic moment inside anyone. The question now is, “what is heroic? ” or maybe, “what makes someone a hero? ” But does it really matter? Some might say a hero has supernatural powers, while another handful of people might say a hero is defined by the actions they do and that it is out of love. Questions like these are hard to give an answer to, due to the fact that everyone has opinions about it and there is not really a strait forward way to actually define a hero.
In the story Beowulf, the main character (Beowulf) is almost seen as being an immortal and undefeatable man that people can turn to in a time of crisis. As the story goes, Beowulf almost feeds off that and turns almost cocky. Hard situations such as facing Grendal are difficult while he is in the heat of battle but acts like it was an easy task (page 49; lines 340-341). One well known author of the Bible was a man who first went by the name Saul. Saul was a Pharisee who persecuted Christians. Saul was born in Tarsus (modern day Turkey) and grew up as a Jewish Roman citizen who received a Greek and Jewish education.
At the age of 13 he went off to Jerusalem to become a Rabbi. He came to know and accept Christ on the road to Damascus where his name was eventually changed from Saul to Paul. Saul means desire; Kind of Israel where as Paul means little. Some believe that God changed his name to Paul due to the names meaning, so that Paul would be humbled to do good things for Christ’s namesake. He spent several years in Arabia receiving direct revelation from God to write the books that eventually went into the Bible.
He spent 10 years as a missionary, traveling from Europe to Asia 3 times. He spent a lot of this time in prison, where he wrote quite a few epistles (writing 13 Old Testament books) and was eventually beheaded by Nero in the spring of 67 AD. One major difference between these two people is the major characteristic of humility. For quite some time, Paul probably wasn’t the most humble and as the years went on he grew more humble, seeing the wrongs of his ways while there is Beowulf who almost seemed to get worse as time went on (page 58; lines 606-611).
At some point in Paul’s life he realized that he was acting wrongly and turned with a new heart for ministry but Beowulf enjoys what he did and how he did it. Something similar that they have in common would be their determination. Paul was beyond determined to spread the word of God to Jews and especially Gentiles. Paul lovingly acted as a spokesman from God to the people (Romans 1:2-6) and he did so not only because God wanted him but because Paul desired to serve the Lord in that way. In the same way Beowulf was determined to destroy his enemies and go so well to be courageous.
Beowulf also had good motives for going into battle and that reason was mostly to uphold someone’s honor. Both these men are courageous but in their own specific way. In the end both these men are different yet similar in their own ways. One man decided that after all this wrong doings that he would turn that around and do good things that would please the one and only God that he loved while the other man went after his own glory and was in the end defeated for a noble yet almost less rewarding cause.