What defines a hero? Does today’s society require a hero to become famous for scoring countless touchdowns? Should our heroes be those who rap about their childhood woes and their current affinity for top shelf liquor and illicit drugs? Perhaps society deems its heroes as those who are just the right combination of cute and crude to be a reality star. This could be the prevailing trend, but the epic, which was written in the 11th century, Beowulf, seems to portray the ideal hero as Marcus Luttrell does today. Honor, valiance, and fierceness are among the characteristics displayed by the heroes in the fictional Beowulf and the very real life episode of Marcus Luttrell.
Beowulf’s culture emphasizes the importance of a man’s…show more content… Beowulf demonstrates marked allegiance to his king when he returns from his mission in Denmark giving Higlac his treasures,“Of gems and armor, let me choose as I liked, So I could bring his riches to you, my ruler, And prove… my love”(2147-2149). He fights for his king’s benefit and awards all monies and treasures gained in battle to his royalty. Considering Beowulf’s life was nearly lost against Grendel’s mother, Beowulf’s actions are very revealing about his true feelings for the king as is Luttrell’s display of great loyalty to his team and country. He lives by the SEAL mantra “I will never quit… my Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies” (Lone Survivor). These are the types of heroes representing our countries and cultures demonstrating the ability to move ahead and strive for continued excellence. Luttrell and Beowulf both try to do this, but Luttrell is unable to because he was eventually hospitalized ending his career as a SEAL. On the other hand, Beowulf continues to demonstrate loyalty fifty years later when the dragon attacks Geatland. Being King, Beowulf can very easily have made the soldiers clash with the dragon, but Beowulf decides to do so himself defending his people. Both protagonists’ careers ended but not by their personal choice. Beowulf is killed in battle, while Luttrell suffers personal debilitative…show more content… This provides Grendel’s mother with an advantageous situation being that she knows better the lay of the land, whereas Beowulf is unfamiliar with the terrain. Beowulf adheres to his promise as he pursues the demise of Grendel’s mother. While most others might flee, Beowulf always rises to the occasion. When fighting the Taliban, Luttrell never waivers either, “Fear is a force that sharpens your senses. Being afraid is a state which paralyzes you”(Luttrell). Nothing removes the bravery from Luttrell. Even as his fellow officers die one by one around him, he drives onward. Refusing to retreat by both men points to a common disliking of cowardice. A difference between them is their views upon fear. As previously mentioned Beowulf refutes even the thought of being scared, but Marcus Luttrell thrives in battle from his