Beowulf was written in the eighth century by an unknown author. The story is centered on Beowulf, the main character, who is able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself. He encounters hideous monsters but never fears the threat of death. Beowulf is the ultimate hero who risks his life countless times for immortal glory and for the good of others. Another fictional hero who possessed these qualities is He-Man, a nineteen eighties cartoon super hero. Their backgrounds, their trusted friends, and their super human strength make them epic heroes of their time.
The quality that makes them heroes is the deep respect and responsibility he had for his people. His grand father King Hrethel raised Beowulf. Beowulf matured according to the appropriate expectations of royalty. His maturity drove him to test his strengths and abilities to the limit. He had to prove to himself and others that he is of heroic success. Beowulf goes to Denmark to prove his heroism. Like Beowulf, He-Man came from a royal family. When He-Man was not of super natural strength, he was known as Prince Adam of Eternia. He too had royal respect and responsibilities for his kingdom. When Prince Adam turns into He-Man, he would have incredible strength that would help him defend his universe. Both heroes take on the responsibility of fighting for the good of the people.
Heroes at times may need a little help. In Beowulf’s case, he used an aid of a sword to help defeat Grendel’s mother. In the battle of the dragon, Wiglaf along with other thanes try to help Beowulf. However when the fight seems to turn against Beowulf, all of the thanes fled except for Wiglaf. In the poem, Wiglaf was more than just someone helping Beowulf, he wholeheartedly demonstrated his loyalty for his lord and was willing to sacrifice his life for him. For He-Man, he used his magical sword to help him throughout all of his battles. But his most trusted friend and pet was Battle Cat. Battle Cat was a huge muscular cat with a saddle upon him that He-Man can ride on. Battle Cat stood by He-Man in every battle. Their trusty swords and their faithful companions helped both heroes conquer their enemies.
The most overwhelming proof that Beowulf and He-Man have in common in is their superhuman attributes. Beowulf battles Grendel, with no armor and no sword. With his sheer heroic strength, he is able to rip and tear Grendel’s arm off his socket. Then Beowulf swims down to fight Grendel’s mother. Being under water for so long is evidence that he is supernatural. An ordinary man can not hold his breath for more than a minute, let alone an entire day. He-Man has many superhuman qualities as well. In every episode, He-Man would use his strength, speed, and magical powers to sabotage the evil nemesis Skeletor’s plot to conquer Eternia. Both Beowulf and He-Man used superior and super natural strength against their enemies that contributed to their success.
Whether the hero was from an eight century epic poem or a nineteen eighties cartoon series, both had similar traits of upbringings and stature. They set a noble example of relying on the necessity of brotherhood and friendship. Their bravery and strengths surpassed that of mortal men. Their unselfish loyalty makes them revered by all. Beowulf and He-Man are prime examples of epic heroes.