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Beowulf vs 13th Warrior

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ljasens1
Words 1025
Pages 5
Beowulf A good hero is a person who has a great talent and uses that talent at the right time, making them a hero. Both the heroes in Beowulf and in 13th Warrior have a skill that they use at the right moment, which separates them from other individuals, making them a hero. Beowulf himself is a man full as brute strength and pure power in order to defeat his foes. Ahmed Ibn Fadlan lacks the strength aspect, unlike Beowulf but has great intellect, which helps him to succeed and become a hero. Beowulf does not think of any enemy as threatening and believe that his strength will not be matched. Ahmed is not strong and has no strength to rely on like Beowulf. What Ahmed does have is intellect, which he uses to replace his absence of strength. The better hero is Beowulf out of the two. It seems that Ahmed would be a better sidekick to Beowulf in he cannot physically do a lot. Ahmed would be able to think of plans and strategies and Beowulf would be able to implement them and make them work. Just as Wiglaf helped Beowulf neither one could defeat the dragon without the other. This would be the case if Ahmed and Beowulf were with each other; they would both be needed in order to accomplish something. Beowulf has strength and knows of it, which is a great benefit to him. He gets confidence knowing that he is extremely strong and gains courage from this. He is not afraid of anything including Grendel who everyone in the story fears. Grendel comes to the land of the Spear-Danes and is confronted by Beowulf. During the confrontation, Grendel gets its arm ripped off by Beowulf and it is hung as a trophy. Grendel runs away and Beowulf has defeated a monster using his strength. Looking at Ahmed’s first interaction with the enemy when they attack at night when the men are pretending to sleep, he is thrown around like a rag doll and fears the “Wendol.” In this moment Ahmed does nothing to help save any of his other companions and is lucky he did not die. This is different from Beowulf in the fact that when Beowulf gets into a confrontation he always comes out on top and does not get thrown around because of his strength unlike Ahmed.
Ahmed does not become effective until he starts to use his own intellect to help him battle. He fixes the sword so that he can lift it and be able to use it; however it is not as big as the other sword which Beowulf could have lifted easily. This strength is seen from Beowulf when he confronts and battles Grendel’s mother. Beowulf is able to pick up the big sword and slay Grendel’s mother avenging his fallen comrades. Ahmed would not have been able to be a hero in this instance because Grendel’s mother was a monster as well as Grendel himself. When Ahmed thought that he was battling a bear monster, he was scared and struggled to fight them. It was not until he saw that they were only men that he became effective and was able to kill them. Beowulf did not care who he was fighting, he always had courage to stand and fight. This cannot be said for Ahmed as he was scared and did not fight until he saw that the bear monsters were only men. Ahmed overthinks everything too much which is another reason why he is not a better hero then Beowulf. Beowulf does not think about going into battle more than once if it is what is required of him. Ahmed however, does not want to go with the warriors to battle the “Wendol” and save the village that is in need of their help. He is worried about who he is fighting and becomes scared because of this. Beowulf only think when he needs, which is very little at first until he is meant to become king and learns from Hrothgar. Beowulf thinks and uses his intellect of what he has when he watches Grendel’s mother fight and take some of his comrades. He watches Grendel’s mother and examines how she fights, giving him an advantage over her when they come in contact with each other. Beowulf does not think about whom he is going to be fighting or how scary they are because he knows he will conquer anything. Beowulf’s strength gives him confidence while Ahmed’s intellect just gives him the ability to learn a language or knowledge about who he is competing against. When Beowulf goes after the dragon when he is older, he states that he will conquer this beast alone and save the people. Ahmed would not be able to defeat the dragon on his own when he was young let alone when he grows older. This is why Beowulf is a greater hero because at this time the people needed to be saved from a dragon and he was able to defend them and save them. If this were Ahmed in Beowulf’s shoes would he be able to defend the people using his intellect or would he need strength to kill the beast like Beowulf did. Beowulf using intellect by bringing armor and protection against the dragon, showing that he has developed some intellect as he grew older. Throughout the whole time Ahmed was fighting at no point did he get straight man power strength. Beowulf is the better hero between the two because he can defend people against any enemy with his strength. Ahmed would make a good assistant or sidekick to a man with strength as he did in the 13th Warrior. Beowulf would sacrifice his life as he did versus the dragon to save his people and Ahmed was afraid to even go to battle. As seen in Beowulf intellect can be developed over time, but becoming a courageous hero is something that you are born with. Beowulf is born a hero and died a hero; Ahmed was in a group of heroes and not physically a hero himself.

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