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Comparing Beowulf and Oliver as Epic Heroes (Essay Sample)


Client instructions
1)    Compare Beowulf from Beowulf and Oliver from The Song of Roland, who is the better
hero? Provide two reasons why your choice is the better hero and one reason why they are not
the better hero. [Three points overall. No more, no less]
                                   12pt Times New Roman font
                                   1 inch margins on all sides
                                   Third Person narrative (he, she, it, they)
                                   Use MS WORD (.doc or docx)


Comparing Beowulf and Oliver as Epic Heroes
An epic hero refers to a central figure in a literary work of art who has outstanding qualities and risks their life to pursue a grand objective. Epic heroes are brave and grand characters mainly in epic poems and tragedies and are admired for their achievements and performance in grand events. They evoke a sense of heroism in literary audiences through their awe-inspiring and legendary quests. Some of the most popular heroes in traditional epics are Beowulf in Beowulf and Oliver from song of Roland. Even though the two heroes are marvelously brave, Beowulf is a better hero than Oliver because he is consistent in his display of heroism, achieves more success and is celebrated and glorified more than Oliver, and has fewer character flaws
Beowulf is undoubtedly the most perfect example of an epic her. His wisdom, physical strength, bravery, and commitment to his society make him one of the most admirable epic characters. He displays his bravery in several events, some of which include risking his life to pursue greater social good, and his performance s celebrated and glorified by all people. In addition, his strength is evident in all of the amazing feats he achieves including winning incredible battles with mysterious creatures. In the epic poem, he is described as “the strongest man in the world” (Old English Poetry Ln 91-92). It is one of the attributes that make him the most perfect example of an epic hero
Another epic hero is Oliver in a poem titled “Songs of Roland”. Oliver is one of the main characters in the poem his bravery and generosity make him an epic hero. He is a hero because he sacrifices or risk his life to pursue a greater social good, which includes taking part in battles in defense of his country. In the poem, he is depicted as someone who exhibits wisdom and poise in combat. In one of his conversations with Roland, he yells him “Heroism tempered with commonsense is not madness”. He also tells him that “Reasonableness is better than recklessness” (Hagan Ln 80-83). These comments illustrate hos wisdom. Despite his heroic deeds and displays, he is wounded and killed at the battle of Rondeaux.
Beowulf is a better hero than Oliver due to several reasons. First, Beowulf consistently displays heroism in the entire epic poem. From the beginning to the end, he is portrayed as a brave character whose physical strengths helps him achieve many feats that ordinary humans cannot (Old English Poetry). His consistent heroic actions and incredible performances during battles make him a better hero than Oliver. His dedication to his society and desire to defend the people at all costs ensures that people glorify and celebrate him from the beginning to the end. However, Oliver does not experience such levels of glory. In addition, he does not engage in extraordinary acts which no other person could not manage.
Secondly, Beowulf does not have weaknesses. He is portrayed as a flawless character who does everything right, attracting the admiration of the people. Indeed, there is no single instance of Beowulf’s failure documented in the poem. The only character flaw documented is pride (Old English Poetry). Therefore, his near-flawless character and success in everything he does makes him a better hero than Oliver, who has some several weaknesses. Notably, Oliver, despite his heroic status, is also portrayed as evil and treacherous. Therefore, he has some character flaws and inconsistencies which means that a section of the society does not admire him, unlike Beowulf who is admired and celebrated by everyone.
Oliver is not a better hero than Beowulf because in the Songs of Roland, there are other heroes who achieve greater feats than him. Even though he is a hero, the poem has other heroes such as Roland who are more outstanding than Oliver (H

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