Gilgamesh vs. Beowulf
What Made Beowulf a Hero?
"Nor have I seen
a mightier man-at-arms on this earth
than the one standing here: unless I am mistaken,
he is truly noble. This is no mere
hanger-on in a hero's armour." (244-251)
Beowulf's unmatched courage
"I have heard moreover that the monster scorns
in his reckless way to use weapons;
therefore, to heighten Hygelac's fame
and gladden his heart, I hereby renounce
sword and the shelter of the broad shield,
the heavy war-board: hand-to-hand
is how it will be, a life-and-death
fight with the fiend." (433-440)
Gilgamesh King of Uruk
"He walks around in the enclosure of Uruk,
like a wild bull he makes himself mighty, head raised (over others).
There is no rival who can raise his weapon against him.
His fellows stand (at the alert), attentive to his (orders?),
and the men of Uruk become anxious in …
Gilgamesh does not leave a son to his father,
day and night he arrogantly(?)" … (1.51-58)"