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Character Analysis: Beowulf Vs Odysseus

707 words - 3 pages

Traci Wallace
Literature 201
Beowulf- Character Analysis
For this analysis I chose to contrast Beowulf with The Odyssey’s, Odysseus. Both of the protagonists in these stories have very similar traits and cultural ideals, while maintaining subtle differences. They are both strong and intelligent. They are both boastful, but never without just reason. They are both an ideal representation of the attributes that were praised by their individual societies. However, there are many notable differences in their modus operandi. One of the most notable being their libidos, or absence of.
Odysseus was a great leader whose shrewd intellect enabled the Greeks to defeat the Trojans in the war. ...view middle of the document...

Another trait shared by these two, as well as most any hero or warrior archetype you will come across, is courage. Beowulf sought to help the Danes rid themselves of Grendel and Grendel’s mother unsolicited. He chose to battle the dragon despite being fully aware of the probability he may never return home alive. Odysseus braved and fought through the storms brewed by Poseidon’s wrath. He faced the sirens, Scylla, and Charybdis to get back to Penelope and Telemachus. The difference here lies in their motivations. Beowulf sought glory and gold, while Odysseus was fueled solely by his irrepressible desire to return home.
It is also the speed bumps on the way to accomplishing their goals that define more character differences. Beowulf is only hindered by the physical might of his opponent. He sets to complete a task and does just that. When Unferth accuses him of having not completed the swimming race and thus failing at his goal, he politely explains that the only thing that kept him from competing to the end was the minor...

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