Beowulf vs. Captain Miller of "Saving Private Ryan": Comparison of hero Characteristics.

Essay by alexfishburnHigh School, 11th gradeA+, December 2005

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Imagine being on a boat, full of anticipation. As the door drops soldiers are gunned down simultaneously before they have a chance to defend themselves. Captain Miller looks around as his comrades are slaughtered in vain. Out of instinct he seizes a fellow soldier, leaps off the boat into the water and screams, "Let's go!" just as the man in front of him is hit by a mortar shell. Throughout history, many conflicts required the rise of a great leader to lead his people. In Beowulf and Saving Private Ryan these leader are evident. Beowulf, the protagonist in the epic poem by the same name, fights many monsters in order to protect his village. He accomplishes his goal with unparalleled bravery and fights against all odds to his death. Similarly, Captain Miller, in the movie Saving Private Ryan, is willing to die to save a soldier he has never met.

He demonstrates unmatchable courage to help a mother bring her last son home from the war. Even though Beowulf and Captain Miller are lifetimes apart, their concern for the welfare of others, examples of courage and unwillingness to give up make them true heroes. Whether in the 4th century or the 21st, heroes will always rise to lead their followers to triumph.

Beowulf and Captain Miller show concern for the welfare of others throughout their stories. For example, upon hearing of a vicious beast named Grendel killing the people of Herot, Beowulf travels there to kill it. "I can show the wise Hrothgar a way to defeat his enemy... I can calm the turmoil and terror in his mind," (Lines 330-332) Beowulf thinks to himself. Beowulf wants to help Hrothgar and his villages get out from under the burden of the monsters terrorizing their land. In the same...