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Beowulf and The Modern Day Hero Essay

A hero does something for the greater good of mankind. A hero is courageous and brave in any situation. Beowulf and Irena Sendler a social worker who smuggled over 2,500 Jewish out of harms way put their lives on the line to protect their mankind. While each warriors have their differences both believe in courage and triumphing over evil. In his final battle Beowulf goes up against a dragon that take a whole army to defeat. Caught up in his courageous high Beowulf does not realize the feat that lies ahead of him. Beowulf describes, “scant regard for the dragon as a threat, no dread at all of its courage or strength, for he kept going often in the past” (2348-2351). Beowulf is caught up in his past glories blinding him from the actualization of how dangerous the dragon is. Being courageous means one knows their limits. Irena Sendler knew that she could not act alone in rescuing over 2,500 innocent children. Ambulance drivers would transport children under the floorboards while police officers would be bribed to allow traffic through an underground corridor.

Unlike Beowulf Irena knew that she needed help to sneak past the giant Nazi regime to rescue thousands of Jewish children. is not caught up in being labeled as a hero for risking her life to save over 2,500 innocent children. Beowulf states, “I have wrestled the hilt from the enemies’ hand, avenged the evil done to the Danes; it is what was due” (1668-1670) Beowulf fights for justice and to avenge those who have done wrong. By fighting for your beliefs Beowulf displays that you cannot terrorize without repercussions. In 1943 the Nazi party commenced a liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto. Irena believes, “Every child saved with my help and the help of all the wonderful secret messengers, who today are no longer living, is the justification of my existence on this earth, and not a title to glory.”

Irena did not want the title of glory she only fought for her beliefs in a non-violent manner. Unlike Beowulf she did not need to go out and avenge the Nazis for their vile acts towards humanity. A hero is brave and will put their lives on the line to protect mankind. Beowulf and a Irena are courageous no matter how daunting each of their tasks were. A hero stands up for the greater good of people when he witnesses mankind being threatened. While a hero comes in all different ways both possess the same qualities.

MLA Format
HEVESI, DENNIS. “Irena Sendler, Lifeline to Young Jews, Is Dead at 98.” Nytimes.com. Nytimes.com, 13 May 2008. Web.


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