Beowulf Vs Hercules Comparison

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Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Beowulf Vs Hercules Comparison

This essay will compare and contrast the epic heroes Beowulf and Hercules, examining their legendary tales and heroic qualities. It will discuss their feats, strengths, and the cultural contexts of their stories – Anglo-Saxon for Beowulf and Greek mythology for Hercules. The piece will analyze their differences and similarities in heroism, such as their battles against formidable foes and their motivations for undertaking these challenges, highlighting how each character reflects the values and ideals of their respective societies. More free essay examples are accessible at PapersOwl about Beowulf.

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The origins of the two heroes, Beowulf and Hercules, are associated with divine heroes. They were honorary and royal servants of their country and communities, they lead their communities to heroic events and battles. In most of their stories, the two warriors usually have a successful ending. These two concerns were of similar European origins. To be more specific, these two concerns have inspired two different generations in German history (“Compare and contrast Beowulf and Hercules”).

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Hercules came before Beowulf. He was the inspiration for the majority of the German population, which was interested in military heroic events and deeds during the Roman period (“Compare and contrast Beowulf and Hercules”). Beowulf’s story was the inspiration for the Germanic warriors who appeared later in the generation, he fought the monsters that lived in the caves. Beowulf fought the deadly dragon while Hercules faced the Cacus Monster. They both came from the royal family, one of them is from Greece and the other from Denmark.

Beowulf and Hercules achieve similar status, strength and battles in their stories, leading to the conclusion that these heroes are the same. Some may argue that the two concepts are very different, however, we must remember that the story of Hercules influenced the Germanic people with heroic tales and bravery, like Beowulf for subsequent generations of the Germanic people, and therefore the reason for the similarities in both. Hercules and Beowulf are amazing warriors. Beowulf is called to fight the beast Grendel, who terrorizes the people of Heorot. Grendel doesn’t like the hustle and bustle that happens there, so he chases people and kills them as they try to fight him off.

Beowulf comes to King Hrothgar and the volunteers to fight Grendel and travels to Denmark to do so. He successfully defeats the beast and continues to fight Grendel’s mother, followed by the Dragon. His ability to fight and defeat these beasts shows his prowess and he becomes known as the protector of the city and the man the people call to fight for them. Hercules is similar in the sense that he was a great fighter and protector. He fought the minyan, who was a group of men who threatened Thebes, in Greece. He also went through twelve jobs that were difficult and dangerous. Some of his tasks included killing the Stymphalian Birds, a group of birds that ate people and terrorized the city, the Lernaean Hydra, which had nine heads and when he chopped off one another, it grew, and the Erimantha Boar, which was another beast that he won to chase him until the beast got tired.

Even after he completed his twelve labors, he continued to fight with new battles and adventures. Hercules and Beowulf are people who constantly won battles and were always ready to help others. They received the status of defenders of the people. These people also had tremendous strength and special abilities. Beowulf’s abilities are evident during his battle with Grendel. During the fight, Grendel tries to grab Beowulf, but instead Beowulf grabs him so hard that he becomes afraid. Grendel is unable to escape from Beowulf’s hold and their fight shakes the kingdom. The warriors try to jump with their weapons and help Beowulf, but are unaware that Grendel is weapon-prone, forcing Beowulf to use his bare hands.

Beowulf rips open Grendel’s arm and carries him to anchor him to the wall. We see his special abilities again in the fight against Grendel’s mom, which takes place underwater. Beowulf has the ability to hold his breath for several hours while he fights, and can spend days and nights without rest or food. Hercules has a reputation for being the most powerful person who ever lived. From an infant stage, he killed two poisonous snakes that were in his bed, sent by the goddess Hero, who was jealous of Zeus, his father. He also killed Neimon the Lion, who was a ferocious beast with his bare hands, just like Beowulf did, and fought the gods in battles and won often. He never grew old and could jump 100 feet into the air.

Another similarity between the two is that they have experienced some kind of downfall in each of their stories. When Beowulf fights his last battle, which is the Dragon, he is old. He risks the chance of losing because he was not as young as he was when he fought the other two animals. Dragon and Beowulf start to fight but then bit Beowulf and he begins to bleed. Although he is injured, he receives a knife and stabs the dragon and he dies. Unfortunately, Beowulf also dies. Hercules’ second wife Deianeira was the cause of his death. They tried to cross the River Evenus, and a centaur named Nessus offered to ferry Deianeira. She allowed it, but it was only after she was given a ride that Nessus tried to rape her. Hercules, of course, protecting his wife, shot Nessus to stop him. However, dying, he ordered to leave some of her blood so that in case Hercules falls out of love with her, she can use it to make him fall in love again. It was a lie and his blood is actually filled with poison, however Deyaneriya still accepts it. Later, Hercules begins to look like a desirable woman named Lawl. Worried about their marriage, Deinaneria takes Nessus’s blood and soaks his clothes into it so that he continues to be interested in her.

When Hercules goes to put it on, his skin catches on fire as the poison begins. He is in great pain, and because he is a demigod, he does not die right away, which means that he has to endure slowness, excruciating pain. Realizing what she has done, Denineria kills herself. Finally, Hercules decides to commit suicide and set the rest of himself on fire. This kills the mortal part of him, but not the immortal part. He goes to his new home on the mountain. Olympus to reunite with other gods. These two men also have patriarchal figures who have had some sort of power. Hercules was the son of Zeus, who was the God of King and Thunder who ruled over Olympus and other gods. Beowulf’s father was the king of the land of the Danes.

Although the two heroes fought and represented their peoples and communities on a dangerous and important quest, they were weaknesses in human nature. Beowulf’s main weakness was his ego, which was accompanied by pride. This aspect caused him to be reckless, causing him to take on very dangerous tasks individually. This aspect distinguished Beowulf from the rest of the Roman and Greek warriors. Greek and Roman warriors always had tragic flaws that led them to defeat and destruction in most cases. Some dangerous quests without using weapons and without outside help, as he is always confident that he will be the winner.

In his older age, when he did not have much strength, Beowulf decides to fight the dragon alone, when he was wounded, unable to defeat the dragon, he accepts this as his destiny and accepts that he will die at that point. This distinguished him from the Greek classical heroes in that their fate was based on their poor choices, which they made at the most crucial moments. He had to choose the decision to meet the dragon, or many people would die. In this act, he never demonstrated the Greek hamartia, but demonstrated the fatalism of the Western.

Beowulf’s strengths are included; supernatural strength, loyalty, faith, honor and courage. This is well demonstrated by the fact that he agreed to destroy Grendel and his mother. He develops his courage by fighting two creatures separately, and he dies while still fighting and fighting to save his people. His strength is well worked out when he rips off Grendel’s ribs. He demonstrated his faith and acceptance of the Supreme Being by always thanking God when he wins his battles (“Beowulf’s Characteristics”).

In Greek mythology, Herkulx is said to have dominated his voracious and lustful nature most of the time. There is information from unreliable sources that claim that he impregnated the daughters of Thespius, who were 50 years old. His wife Megara also bore him three children. He was also very energetic. Over time, he continued to change his character, in some stories he was portrayed as very modest. Hercules’ strengths included his passion for overcoming manifested in his path, his physical strength and courage. Hercules’ strengths and abilities are mostly compared to Samson from the Bible, so in some cases he is called the Greek Samson (“Greek Samson”).

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Beowulf vs Hercules Comparison. (2021, May 10). Retrieved from