Society’s Real Hero: Heroism in “Beowulf” 11th Grade

Society has confused my understanding of role models. In our society people toss the word “hero” around so often everyone seems to be a hero. Jordan Belfort, a criminal is called a hero for turning his humble beginnings into immense wealth. Society names people heroes not if they fit the hero criterion but if they fulfill the “American dream”. Beowulf is not a hero loosely defined by society but rather a real hero because he meets all the hero criterion. In the poem “Beowulf” by Unknown the main character Beowulf, fights several monsters to defend his friends and allies. Beowulf’s fight against the monster Grendel’s mother is overall heroic because Beowulf fully demonstrates all the criterion of heroism to a high degree.

In order to determine if an action is heroic, first heroism needs to be defined. To be heroic an action must involve the following five items; it serves a higher cause, it involves extraordinary risk, the action is not foolish or reckless, the hero is aware of the risk and the action is voluntary. To begin with, a heroic act must involve serving others for a higher cause. An act that serves others for a higher cause is a deed that benefits a group of people. An experienced mountain climber that climbs Mount...

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