Anglo-Saxon Hero in Literature: Beowulf, Roy Hobbs and the Dark Knight

A hero is a person of distinguished courage who has outstanding qualities and abilities, and who is admired for brave and noble acts. An Anglo-Saxon hero is a person who has good leadership qualities, is able and willing to provide people with a sense of security, and is willing to go into danger despite possible harm to them. Beowulf, Roy Hobbs, and the Dark Knight are all three heroes that exhibit Anglo-Saxon qualities that have allowed them to evolve into something bigger than itself.

All three heroes have shown Anglo-Saxon values which have allowed the newer generation of heroes such as the Dark Knight to still possess these values and qualities that were founded at an earlier date. I have found six qualities among the three heroes which they all happen to possess which include strength, loyalty, courage, bravery, confidence and honor. These six qualities have shown that no matter how new or old the hero is, they have all stayed true and evolved starting with the Anglo-Saxon era. One of the qualities that the three characters possess is strength.

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Strength is even an example of an archetype because it’s a continuous pattern that has been shown throughout many heroes for the longest times. For Beowulf, he showed strength by tearing Grendel’s arm off. He was blessed with an incredible superhuman strength which also allowed him to show no mercy while defeating both Grendel and his mother to protect Hrothgar. Roy Hobbs hits a towering homerun that breaks the stadium lights. He was strong enough to hit the ball far which shows the type of game hero he was.

Lastly, the Dark Knight has more of a mental strength because he relies on his own scientific knowledge, detective skills, and athletic mentality. Loyalty is another quality that heroes seem to have when dealing with a specific task at hand. Beowulf stayed loyal to Hrothgar with his promise to protect the Danes from danger and by keeping his promise to kill Grendal. In the movie The Natural, Roy had stayed very loyal to his baseball team. The judge tried to poison him which didn’t keep him off the field and he even went as far as bribing him not to play.

It took a lot out of him to not accept the money but he knew he loved the game and his team and wanted to show that he was loyal and still had the fight within him to play. The Dark Knight remained loyal to his town as well promising to keep them safe from the Joker who had been harassing the public and causing catastrophic events to occur. Courage and bravery are two qualities that seem to go hand in hand with each other. In the story Beowulf, Beowulf had the courage to fight the dragon by himself.

He was courageous in the fact that he went without any of his eleven soldiers and showed bravery throughout the story by fighting without any weapons. He felt that he was so powerful that he didn’t need any materials to help him win against someone or something which displays his bravery as well. When Roy decided to come back from retirement this showed a lot of courage. Most people thought that he would be done playing baseball forever but he decided to come back and prove to everyone what he was still capable of. He also displayed bravery by playing a game while still trying to fight off his illness.

The team ended up winning the pennant which was led by Roy ending the game with a homerun. The Dark Knight had the courage to fight the Joker when the Joker tried to kill the people of Gotham City. He’s always showing his bravery by standing up to the bad guy. He does anything to keep people safe no matter what, which shows that he doesn’t get scared or intimidated easily. Confidence is shown through all the characters by standing out to a person that is trying to hurt them or their community. Beowulf shows confidence by not using any weapons while fighting Grendel.

He also shows his honor by requesting to have a proper burial since he accomplished so much. In the movie The Natural, epic conventions are shown by creating flashbacks so you can understand more of what happened in Roy’s earlier life. Roy showed confidence by putting himself back on the baseball field even though he was older than the rest. He even ended up becoming honored for what his team and his own self had achieved. The Dark Knight displayed his confidence in what he can do for the city and who he is as a super hero.

He is comfortable having enemies but shows that they don’t bother him. He ended up becoming honored for his noble acts by becoming known as “the protector” of Gotham City. As it is displayed throughout the Anglo-Saxon period these qualities above show that the characters have evolved throughout time. Even though the situations may have changed the qualities and characteristics of a hero have remained the same. Beowulf showed that you don’t need weapons and men behind you to complete noble tasks.

He showed confidence in himself and his strengths which allowed him to protect Hrothgar. Roy Hobbs was a hero that can be seen in a day to day scenario. He was a hero to people who thought that they couldn’t come back from retirement and still succeed in a sport. Lastly, the Dark Knight was the modern day hero who protected a city from terror while being mysterious and using all the gadgets and whistles there is. As a hero he showed that no one would bring him down or stop him from doing what is right which is keeping the people safe.

In conclusion, Beowulf, Roy Hobbs, and the Dark Knight are all prime examples that showed how heroes had evolved through the Anglo-Saxon era. Works Cited Raffel, Burton, and Leonard Baskin. Beowulf. Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 1963. Print. The Natural. Dir. Barry Levinson. Perf. Robert Redford, Robert Duvall and Glenn Close. Tri- Star Pictures, 1984. DVD. “Wikipedia”. Wikipedia. N. P. , n. d. Web. 15 October 2012 <http://wikipedia. com/> “The Dark Knight Rises: Quotes. ” The Dark Knight Rises (2012). N. P. , 1990. Web. 15 October 2012. <http://imbd. com/title/tt1345836/quotes>

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Anglo-Saxon Hero in Literature: Beowulf, Roy Hobbs and the Dark Knight. (2016, Oct 22). Retrieved from