COMPARISON BETWEEN BEOWULF & ODYSSEUS
Similarities Between Beowulf & OdysseusBetül Y?ld?r?m
Karabuk University Author NoteBetül Y?ld?r?m, Department of English Language and Literature, Karabuk UniversityCOMPARISON BETWEEN BEOWULF & ODYSSEUS
Similarities Between Beowulf & Odysseus Beowulf was probably written in the first half of the 8th century by a single poet who was most probably a Christian and the poet was reviving the heroic language and style and Pagan world of ancient Germanic oral poetry. The legendary hero Beowulf’s adventures told in this long epic poem. The poem is opens and closes with the description of a funeral, and a lament for the dead hero. The Odyssey is one of two ancient Greek epic poems which was considered to be written by Homer. The Odyssey is an epic poem that focuses on the Greek hero Odysseus, and his ten years journey home to Ithaca following the fall of Troy, but the dissatisfied sea-god Poseidon prevented him from reaching his hometown in time. Beowulf and Odyssey are important for the department of English Language and Literature, in terms of gaining information about English ancient history. In this essay, their similarities will be discussed.
The first similarity is that both are good and strong leaders. Both characters demonstrated courage and strength by fighting many vicious monsters to protect their lands. It asserted in Beowulf that “The monster’s whole body was in pain, a tremendous wound appeared on his shoulder. Sinews split and the bone-lappings burst. Beowulf was granted the glory of winning; Grendel was driven under the fen-banks, fatally hurt, to his desolate lair” (Beowulf, 814-820). Here, we see that how Beowulf fights bravely. Also he wants honor and glory for himself; therefore, he fights Grendel with his bare hands. However, Beowulf depended more on strength and Odysseus depended more on cunning. He overcomes problems with quick wit. Telemachus, the son of Odysseus, utters “…Now we have no man like Odysseus in command to drive this curse from the house…” (book 2). He thinks that Odysseus is the only one vigorous and intelligent enough to get rid of the suitors. Although they have different strategies while fighting their enemies, their characteristics traits show the portrayal of Odysseus and Beowulf is a great hero and strong leader.
There is something about being a hero: Loyalty! Beowulf is loyal to his king and people. He illustrates his loyalty by serving people and saving Heorot Hall from a ferocious man-eating beast. He believed that his only one goal in life was to serve his people. “When we crossed the sea, my comrades and I, I already knew that all my purpose was this: to win the god will of your people, or die in battle…” (Beowulf, 632-635). All he wants to use his strength for good and serve his people. Odysseus shows his loyalty during his journey when his crew eat the lotus. When they taste the lotus, which kinds of a drag, they lose their all hope to return home. He cares about his men instead of leaving them because he needs them. “I drove them, all three wailing, to the ships, tied them down under their rowing benches, and called the rest: All hands aboard; come, clear the beach and no one taste the Lotus, or you lose your hope of home…” (Book 9).
Moreover, the other essential feature is being a real epic hero. Both characters are deal with some difficulties throughout their story. They defeat beats, yet they never show fear.
COMPARISON BETWEEN BEOWULF ; ODYSSEUS
They have courage, loyalty, strength and fearlessness inside themselves. They are not afraid of their enemies no matter how hard they are. Because, they do know that their people need them. They are always willing to take great risks. They always take their life in danger under any circumstances. What is most important for both heroes is that they both have the qualities of a true epic hero.
In conclusion, both heroes share same traits such as courage, loyalty and being a true epic hero. When readers analyze these epic poems, they can see some similarities between Beowulf and Odysseus. In fact, each heroic stories teach different good deeds. Heores always have good traits because of that people look up to them. They admire their personalities and attributes. A person who is an imaginative want to be a hero for one day. Most of the time courage the most effective weapon against your enemy. I think both the department of Literature and History students have to read these epic poems to understand the background of seven and eight centuries.