Essay: Hero Has the Ability to Face Adverse

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Hero has the ability to face adverse situations without any fear. They put the well-being of others before their own well-being. They do not necessarily have to be physically strong or have muscles that are able to life entire buildings at once; they just have to have a strong character. Although in modern society, it can be rare to find actual heros, individuals who are selfless and thoughtful of others, they are still found. Soldiers are today's modern heros. Specifically, soldiers fighting in the Middle East, whether it is Iraq or Afghanistan, are the individuals that everyone should look up to because of their bravery. They encounter the evils of war everyday, yet they persevere with dignity and ambition. Having to be on their toes everyday, they must constantly deal with the idea of being easily killed in a war strike. Yet they confront this because they will do anything for the honor and the respect of their country. It can be easy to say that one has love, pride, and honor for one's country, but soldiers show day after day, time after time, that they are willing to put their lives at risk in order to maintain that dignity and pride that they see in their country.

Soldiers confront evil on a daily basis for the sake of the American people. They go in the place of many who cannot. In doing so, they risk their lives and time with their families in order to defend their country from further and/or future attacks of any sort. Soldiers are completely virtuous in this sense. They persevere despite any obstacles and see nothing too big being in the way of what they love more: their country and their people. To say that soldiers are brave is one thing, but day after day, they prove this. Unfortunately some have died because of these wars, but that only further demonstrates their selfless acts. They are willing to die for their cause without any great monetary reward. They fight and defend their country for the well-being of it, not for the riches. This in fact makes a true hero.

2) Responding to Beowulf

Imagery plays a pivotal role in Beowulf. Grendel is often associated with darkness and death. When Grendel is first introduced, he is automatically associated with death, as one who brings death to other people, "He came to, ripped him apart, cut / his body to bits with powerful jaws, / drank the blood from his veins, and bolted / Him down, hands and feet; death and Grendel's great teeth came together / Snapping life shut." Imagery is powerful here as it not only provides a description of how vicious Grendel could be, but also how he can easily bring death upon others. Grendel's dying days were also described in a way that made him out to be evil and unable to be defeated, pointing out the darkness in his soul, "...trying to open / a path for his evil soul, but their points / Could not hurt him... blunted every mortal man's blade." This provides an image of how strong he was and how the darkness consumed him, and compared him to demons. Blunting blades can be seen as a reference to fire melting the weapons, another reference to his being demon-like. Lastly, his dying days were also full of dark imagery, one that detailed just how unavoidable death was for Grendel after a certain point. His fight to live, and his eventual resignation to die were clear images of death portrayed by the writing. All these images put forth by words are supposed to allow the reader to see just how strong Grendel was. Readers are supposed to feel hatred and disgust for him.

In "Grendel," Gardener's depiction of Grendel is quite different than that of the epic. First and foremost, Grendel is seen as someone who was protecting those people, not one who was out to hurt them. He is viewed as a provider for those people. Secondly, he is being mourned. This is something that would not have been the case in the epic's description of him. And lastly, Grendel is made out to be as an innocent person who had followers. This depiction of Grendel is one that greatly contrasts that of the epic. In this piece, readers are somewhat forced to sympathize and feel bad for Grendel, as he is not introduced as a monster, but of a creature with caring characteristics.

The first difference between today's world, and that in 999, is the difference in environment. What used to be filled with trees and vegetation, is now covered with buildings and modern architecture. Another difference is the way that lives were lived. People depended on the environment in order to survive and ran a lot more risks in 999 than they do now. Technology is the major difference between both eras. Technology has helped us develop into a modern world, while back in 999, it was barely impossible to leave the immediate vicinity. The first similarity that stuck out was the vast differences between social classes. Although it may not be as extreme, today's societal hierarchies are just as divided as they were in 999. Taxes is another thing that does still exist in today's world, just as it did in 999. And finally, the huge increase in population is also something that can be seen in almost any part of the world right now, just as it was in 999.

3) Epic Conventions and Epic Heroes

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a perfect example of what an epic poem represents. Just as any epic poem does, the Epic of Gilgamesh details a long journey in seek of unraveling a purpose. There is a set hero, one that became a legend and was able to represent honor to himself. However, what makes the Epic of Gilgamesh one that falls into an epic poems category is its powerful imagery. This makes the epic seem real and make is seem as if the readers were actually there, present and witnessing the intense fighting, "How pitiless he was to them. Gilgamesh in horror saw / Him strike the back of Enkidu and beat him to the ground / Until he thought his friend was crushed to death." This provides a great support for the poem's epic status.

A characteristic of an epic poem is its ability to stay relevant despite the passage of time. It has the ability to stay viable, readable, and it is a poem that people could still relate to, despite its age: something that all epic poems do. The Epic of Gilgamesh is one that has lived through oral tradition. It has survived the change of culture and society, further proving its ability to stay relevant and the fact that it is indeed an epic poem. Death is something that is always feared, and in order to overcome this fear, sometimes individuals do things to directly put themselves in harm's way. This is something that is demonstrated in this poem. A moral lesson is characteristic of epic poems, and the Epic of Gilgamesh falls right into this category. This among other factors truly encapsulate what it means to truly be epic.

4) Responding to Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh does indeed meet the requirements of an epic poem. First and foremost, it has withstood the endurance of time and has again and again gone down in history as a tale to never be forgotten. Its length has remained intact despite its various translations into other languages and it's hard-to-read English. An epic poem tells a heroic, almost mythological tale of heros coming to terms with their environment. The epic of Gilgamesh does all this and more. It depicts just how much a character can withstand for something that they fully believe in.

The characteristics of an epic tale also encompass having an almost mythological god-like hero, one that can withstand any hardship despite their surroundings, and the Epic of Gilgamesh has this to an extent. Although Gilgamesh may be afraid of death, he is willing to face it, in a heroic fashion. The poem states, "I will go ahead of you, and if I die / I will at least have the reward / of having people say: He died in war / Against Humbaba. You cannot discourage me / With fears and hesitations." Despite Gilgamesh's fear of death, he is willing to encounter danger and go down as a hero, instead of a coward if need be. This provides a moral twist to the story, one that is characteristic of an epic poem.

Gilgamesh is encouraged to go out and face the world by his fear of death, however Enkidu is quite the opposite. He is encouraged by adventure and by his ability to accompany Gilgamesh as his good friend. Enkidu is indeed a good and dependable friend, one that provides encouragement and strength to Gilgamesh when he needs it most. Gilgamesh is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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