Epic Hero Project

By: Tabby Merkle

Beowulf - the Epic Hero

Beowulf, born as the prince of the Geats and soon to be leader of their army, is born just a boat ride away from Denmark. His uncle, King Hrothgar, is king of the Danes, and is cursed throughout the land. When Beowulf becomes a young man, he travels across the sea to assist his uncle, and is given numerous trials. His first trial is to kill the monster Grendel, and although it does take some time, he accomplishes his task using his family sword and his own brute strength. He finds himself more tasks, such as killing Grendel's mother. Beowulf goes to kill Grendel's mother and is unable to do so, although telling the village that she is dead. He is able to get away from her by giving her the King's golden drinking mug, and she accepts this and promises to keep away from their village. Many years pass, and King Hrothgar dies, leaving Beowulf to be the next ruler of Denmark. Throughout the years, Beowulf comes across the golden drinking mug once again, and keeps it to pass through generations. King Beowulf's final task as ruler is to kill a dragon that is terrorizing the village, and Beowulf goes on his own to do so, but requires the help of his best knights. In the end, King Beowulf dies and is buried in a memorial dedicated to him with all the treasure and gold he has collected throughout his life, and he leaves his best soldier as King.

J. Gatsby - Unknown Billionaire

Mr. Gatsby, born to a poor family with nothing to live for, left his family at a young age to become a sailor. After spending many years sailing and assisting captains throughout his life, Gatsby made a good living, but wanted more. He met a wealthy, elderly man whom he befriended and was taken in by the old man. After the old man passed, Gatsby was left his fortune. Gaining an enormous amount of money, he buys a manor on the coast and spends his life living in the lap of luxury. Time passes, and J falls in love with a young woman, but must leave her for five years. Upon his arrival, Gatsby returns to find his love married to another man. He does notice, however, that she has a home directly across the coast from him, and he is able to see her home from his yard. Later on, a man moves to town and attends one of the parties thrown by Gatsby. Gatsby befriends the young man, who is friends with Gatsby's old love, and has him bring her over as often as possible. Gatsby and the woman fall in love again, and J is determined to win her back. After spending the weekend with Gatsby, the woman goes home and decides that she's going to leave her husband to be with Gatsby. She invites J. Gatsby over to help her break the news to her husband, but she changes her mind mid-day and the husband tricks Gatsby. In the end, Gatsby did win the love of the woman, but he is shot by the husband and dies.

Compare and Contrast - J. Gatsby vs. Beowulf

Comparing - Both men gain riches and power beyond comprehension out of nowhere. They both fall in love with women that they can't have until their power is gained. Both Gatsby and Beowulf die fighting for something they love. Both men are related to the person who gives them riches.

Contrasting - Although Beowulf is directly related to King Hrothgar, Mr. Gatsby is related to the old man through adoption and metaphorical father - son relationships. They live in entirely different eras. Beowulf has an actual loss of homeland because he has to stay in Denmark to rule, whereas Gatsby lost the woman he loved. Gatsby's call to adventure was leaving home and joining a ship's crew, but Beowulf's call was when he left his home to save the Danes from Grendel.