Table of Contents
Beowulf is an epic poem written for the Anglo-Saxon era. The poem is set in the Scandinavia region. Beowulf is the Geats hero as well as the protagonist in the poem. Beowulf is tough man who is willing to fight dragons and monsters regardless of mortal fear and he successful defeats every odd individual to become the King of Geats. Furthermore, Beowolf as a King used his position to curb violence and crush the fire dragon single-handedly. Beowulf counters with a mysterious creature called monster Grendel. The monster attacks the palace of King of Danes, Hrothgar, and killing people within the court of the king.
Beowulf is a brave and independent champion. During the preparations to attack Grendel who could neither be killed by a mortal weapon nor can be injured, Beowulf demonstrates his extraordinary bravery by attacking the devil and killing it barehanded. Furthermore, Beowulf did not work through the identity of the company since he attacks and tears off the beast’s shoulder that the monster runs away in awe with a hanging shoulder while Beowulf hangs the severed arm on the rafters. Because of the heroic part of successful attacking and immobilizing Grendel, Beowulf is compared to the ancient warrior Siegmund. The Danes king was grateful for Beowulf’s heroic spirit that he paid him and his band a prize.
Beowulf is a self-contented hero with a well-versed self-esteem to make rational calculations to prevent the Danes from danger. Moreover, the hero was sorry for not imprisoning Grendel to take the whole monster to the people who were celebrating with him in Herot. Beowulf is friendly and tolerant since he heard about the dreadful monster eating people and come to aid the Danes. Equally, the hero respects authority since he asked for permission from his King before departing to Danes to face the monster. Beowulf is brilliant in that he feigns to fall asleep in order to detect when the monster arrived and he striked before the monster killed all his men as a defender of his group.
Beowulf is a mighty and powerful warrior in open and hand-to-hand battle since he faces the dangerous monster and the mother in turn without any weapon or shield as other soldiers and heroes. During the second argument against Grendel’s mother, a monster that seem to avenge the dead of her son beast, Beowulf attacks the beast in her lake lair after making consultations in which the Danes warrior Unferth hands over the mysterious sword of Hrunting.
Beowulf is quite generous in that he barely knows Unferth but he stipulates that in case of his death, the warrior Unferth should accept all the estates owned by the Beowulf; “now I go on this quest, / sovan wise, what once was said:/ if in thy cause it came that I/ should lose my life, thou wouldst loyal bide to me,/ though fallen, in father's place!/ Be guardian, thou, to this group of my thanes”(Beowulf XXII). Beowulf’s designation as a hero comes to full force when analyzing the quote; a hero is prepared to sacrifice his life for the sake of the community and the community. Similarly, Beowulf is willing to sacrifice his life, family and even his country for the purpose of protecting the Danes from the dragons of water.
Unlike the Thirteen Warrior hero Ahmed Ibn Fadlan who lacks family morals since his journey begins because of his contempt for family institution; on the other hand Beowulf honors and approves morals and ancient traditions. Concerning the approval; “my warrior-friends, if War should seize me;/ and the goodly gifts thou gavest me,/ Hrothgar beloved, to Hygelac send!”(Beowulf XXII). Therefore, Beowulf is a distinctive family man who takes his roles like a man in that he asked the King of Danes and Unferth to be the custodian of the gold presents that were to be sent to Hygelac in case of his death to keep his father’s family.
The 13th Warrior is a monumental epoch movie about a Baghdad based Caliph Poet Ahmed Ibn Fadlan. The hero is sent away from Baghdad on exile as an ambassador to the Northern tribes who were known to be barbarians. Fadlan is thus contrasted in part to Beowulf through their individual factors that affect their mission. While Beowulf is going on the heroic journey after asking permission, on the contrary, Ahmed ibn Fadlan is going on a journey out of shame and embarrassment for his role of flirting with noble’s wives. Therefore, the heroic character of Ahmed ibn Fadlan is secluded to the Northern front and not in Baghdad where the man is identified as an unethical person.
Ahmed ibn Fadlan is considered is dependent on his colleague Melchisidek who helps the hero to face the first and second abduction in procession. Fadlan is a delicate person when he departs from Baghdad whereupon he is held by Mongol Tatar bandits. Ahmed ibn Fadlan is also saved by the Norsemen who take him to the Volga. Fadlan lacks fighting skills to overcome his abductors who inspire him into their war without his consent. Therefore, unlike the heroic Beowulf, Fadlan is a coward who has just left Baghdad for the chaos in which he survives. Thus, Fadlan can be said to be a pretty lucky man to be saved twice and an intelligent man who gained Norse skills quickly.
Ahmed ibn Fadlan is brilliant in that he was able to understand the Norse vocabulary by listening intently to become aware of the new environment.
Herger the Joyous: Where did you learn our language?
Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan: I listened! (The 13th Warrior 1)
During a visit to the camp, the Norse men are asked by a teenager to help King Hrothgar fight a fog adversary who is determined to feed on the people. Literally, the two missions are the same since the two heroes are on a mission to fight cannibalistic entities.
Fadlan is flimsy at the beginning of the mission since he is unsure of the nature of the enemy. However, circumstances oblige the Baghdad poet to become a soldier when he is forced to join the 12 warriors as the 13th soldier following an oracle that the 13th man ought to be from abroad save from the Northerners. Therefore, though Fadlan the poet is weak, he is converted into the warriors group, he quickly gains the courage to overcome the Wendol cannibals.
The heroic character traits of Fadlan fail to emphasize his personality since during the campaign against the Wendol, Buliwyf seems to come out more strongly than the hero. Buliwyf manages to outshine Fadlan from whom the hero coins his fighting skills. Equally, Fadlan is like a typical poor man gaining the barbaric tactics of becoming a man who can standout for himself instead of depending on other people. Fadlan is not true to his physical strength;
Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan: I cannot lift this.
Herger the Joyous: Grow stronger…. I do not enjoy heights. (The 13th Warrior 1)
Therefore, the Fadlan attitude towards life challenges is quite contrasted to Beowulf in that Fadlan remain unchallenged to try out because of fear and uncertainty within. Furthermore, Fadlan is unaware of the physical universe, in that he does not know where a cave can be located:
Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan: Where is a cave?
Weath the Musician: [realizing] It's in the earth. (The 13th Warrior 1)
Contrastingly, Beowulf knows routes of finding caves and lairs in deep waters and deep forests where Fadlan would be reluctant to go.
In conclusion, Beowulf is a heroic character because of his ability to solve social mysteries that impede the development of the society; for example he killed the monster Grendel and the dragon to save the Danes and his own country. Fadlan is on a mission to learn how to be a hero and so he remains a subtly courageous scholar of another culture since the main hero in the film is Buliwyf who kills the Wendol mother to disrupt the cannibal humanoid from eating more people.