How does the Anglo-Saxon definiton of "hero" vary from the modern definiton? Use textual support from Beowulf and other sources to support your thesis.
Can you do a whole 5 paragraph essay on it? Or please just do the introduction of it?
The characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon hero can differ greatly from the modern hero. Anglos looked for their heroes to possess the following characteristics:
1. Epic battles were only against foes equal to or stronger than the protagonist.
2. The greatness of the hero depended upon the greatness of the battle and the greatness of their ancestry.
3. The Anglo hero was required to "Help thy neighbor."
4. The Anglo hero was a leader, a warrior, and a polished speaker.
5. The Anglo hero was in a quest for fame and glory- given his fame and glory could be given to God.
In the Epic poem Beowulf, when Beowulf arrives upon the Danes shores, the sentinel and the herald both recognize Beowulf as a hero. His physical appearance, his eloquent speech, and his ancestry all show him to be a hero.
Today, people (cultures) have many different heroes. A standard definition cannot be made given the great variety between personal interpretations regarding what a hero is. Some may find an athlete a hero because they make a lot of money and are on TV. Another person may look at a celebrity as a hero (for similar reasons as the athlete).
For many, given the chaotic world we live in, many other look to the people who protect us on a daily basis: police, firemen, and the armed forces. For many, these are the true heroes. These men and women risk their lives everyday to insure freedoms, save lives, and protect the country as a whole. In the wake of 911, many people have changed their definition of what a true hero is.
Please check out the video links as an example of my own personal definition of a modern day hero.