Beowulf And Siddhartha Research Paper

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Beowulf Versus Siddhartha: Who is the True Hero? All event's in a hero's journey culminate into one point when he gains either new knowledge or power that facilitates his transition into a higher status. This so-called “apotheosis” typically occurs before the hero's final task and enables him to achieves feats that he would otherwise be incapable of. In the novel Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and the epic poem Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney, both protagonists in the stories undergo significant changes during their travels. Siddhartha, a young, intellectual Indian boy, leaves his childhood life of study and comfort in order to pursue his goal of achieving eternal nirvana, while Beowulf, a powerful and noble warrior, journeys from his homeland in search of a monster that plagues a nearby kingdom. Though both individuals differ from their previous selves, Beowulf is the only true hero who reaches an apotheosis that has profound ramifications on himself and his society.…show more content…
Though Siddhartha follows some elements of this cycle, he does not exhibit behaviors or characteristics that would label him as a hero. Throughout most of his adult life, he is actually a self-centered, lethargic drunkard who distances himself from everybody who has ever loved him. For example, after becoming a business partner to Kamaswami and spending decades wasting away, Siddhartha “saw his face reflected in the mirror on the wall of his bedroom, grown older and uglier, whenever shame and nausea overtook him, he fled again to a new game of chance, fled in confusion to passion, to wine and from there back again to the urge for acquiring and hoarding wealth” (Hesse 80). He clearly has trapped himself in a repetitious cycle of gambling and avarice that he has been unable to break out of.

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