Essay, Research Paper: Heroism And Myths

Literature: Beowulf

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In this age the only way to be classified as a hero is to do something
charitable, or standing up for your political beliefs. Our society no longer
accepts the war aspect of being a hero. If someone were to single handedly
defeat an army he would be given a medal, but be upstaged on the news by the
person who donated a million dollars to a special fund. This is not bad, but it
has shown how society has changed sense Beowulf's times. The heroes of today are
Mother Theresa, Princess Diana, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King Jr., there are
many more but none stand out as prominently. Grant it, they are all dead, they
all either went out of their way to help others or believed in something so
strong they were forever be remembered. Not many people of today would leave
their possessions to help poor people or travel through mine fields to see what
it is like for everyday travel in some parts or the world, and these examples
are few compared to the many heroes of today. Most heroes are everyday people
who fight to keep down two jobs to feed their family. In Beowulf's times the
more people you killed the more your popularity grew and the more widespread
your name becomes. In these times it matters on how many people you save or how
much money you donate. Everyone knew of Ted Turner's vast wealth but he wasn't
considered such a great guy until he donated a billion dollars to the United
Nations. Beowulf saved a lot of people but he did it by defeating monsters and
other armies. In his time this gave people hope knowing they had a strong leader
now it depends on how nice a leader is and how they can help people. In the
times we are in now we consider hospitality and generosity such heroic traits
because like to hear about good things happening around the world, so the media
takes these good deeds and makes them sound heroic. Heroism is a selfless act of
courage but in today's world it is shortened to just a selfless act. The more of
these selfless acts you do, the more people will like you. That is why famous
people try to do something nice at least once a year, instead of doing these
things all the time because they know it's the right thing to do. In conclusion,
I think that society has changed drastically in the views on many topics, and
heroism is just one of them. The only reason these views change is because
society thinks they are doing the right thing by making big deals out of little
things. In Beowulf's times one had to earn the title of hero, now they slap it
on anyone who does something nice just to better themselves. I am not saying
that all people are these false heroes, because the people I mentioned earlier
were not false. They really did earn the title of hero.
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