An Epic Influence

Essay by Jordie2273College, UndergraduateB, April 2013

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An Epic Influence

The ancient legend of the mighty King Beowulf has had a direct influence on the creation of many famous movie characters such as Marvel Comic's Thor. Many would agree the epic texts of great men with superhuman powers would be considered influence for the modern superhero's we know well today. Beowulf is one of the most significant surviving tales from the Anglo Saxon period and has become very popular with current day writing and cinema. With these new writings and film we have discovered a new way to share our stories and keep ancient ones, like Beowulf, alive. When taking a closer look these characters have several differences and similarities that make them unique to their period and audience.

Even though these stories where created centuries apart Thor's character is highly influenced by Beowulf's story of pure strength, invincibility, fighting ability and power.

Thor was created under the idea of such legends like Beowulf because it was the beginning of supernatural men and myths. Also both are based on unrealistic power and invincibility that every man, then and now, wishes to posses. Both endure evil enemies that cause endless destruction and would terrify the average man to death. Beowulf defeats the mightily enchanted monster Grendel that preys upon his men. He rips its arm out of its socket with his bare hands. (55-58) This attack shows that he can defy the limits of the average individual and possesses supernatural strength. When the great dragon ultimately defeats Beowulf at the end of the story he realizes his time has come and dies by choice. (95-100) Although he was defeated he slays the dragon before he parishes. This makes for a noble ending and heroic tale that influences...