A superman is a superior being who possesses gifts beyond normal human ability or power. Although Beowulf does not sport the name and Superman does, it does not make him any less of a superhero. Beowulf, the hero of the epic poem Beowulf, and Superman, the man of steel from Marvel Comics, both act as superheroes of their time, gaining the admiration of all the people looking on.
Both Beowulf and Superman must embark on journeys of their own to reach the people who are in need of their help. Beowulf has to cross the mighty sea to reach the land of the Danes that is being ravaged by the evil Grendel. He quickly commanded a boat fitted out, proclaiming that he d go to that famous king, would sail across the sea to Hrothgar, now when help was needed. He once again must leave the Danes to follow Grendel’s mother to defeat her. Beowulf must swim to the bottom of a murky, fiery lake to take the life of the one who stole his men s lives.
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Superman must travel to other planets and other galaxies to help those that need him. Superman, as a child, is sent away from the planet of Krypton, where he is powerless, to the town of Smallville, where he realizes all his powers. He would not have superpowers if not for his relocation, and a superman would not have existed. Superman defends Metropolis against disaster but also flies into outer space to fight off the maniacal Brainiac and save a city from its own planet. Many times, he makes the trip to other universes to aid those in distress. He is able to use his remarkable abilities to better the lives of others.
Strength and physical attributes are the characteristics that men praise in both Beowulf and Superman. In the Anglo-Saxon period, one proved himself by deeds, showing honor and exemplifying bravery, which is exactly what Beowulf does. Beowulf possesses extreme amounts of physical strength. Despite the probability of death against Grendel and the fact that many men have failed, he insists on attacking him and defeating him. Beowulf s unusual and courageous method of killing Grendel demonstrates his bravery and physical strength because he kills him with his own two hands.
Grendel is caught in the arms of him who of all the men on earth was the strongest, and after his limb is torn from his body, the old and young rejoice as they rode them slowly toward Herot again, retelling Beowulf s bravery as they jogged along. Superman is also revered for his amazing strength. He is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. People are amazed by his ability to bend steel bars with his two, bare hands and see-through objects with his x-ray vision. Women s hearts melt at the fact that bullets simply bounce off the chest of Superman. Both superheroes seem unstoppable even though they have many enemies.
Beowulf and Superman each have several foes that they must overcome to preserve their superhero status. Beowulf becomes regarded as a superhero because of his defeat over Grendel, the monster who terrorizes the mead hall, and the Danes had been served as he d boasted he d serve them. He remains a hero because he must then defend the Danes from Grendel s mother who seeks to avenge her son s death. In his final battle against the dragon, Beowulf is defeated, but he remains a man of admirable exploits because he heroically conquers the dragon as well. They revered him so much that they built the tower, as Beowulf had asked. Superman also defeats many evildoers until the day of his death. He must battle against his archenemy, Lex Luthor, who is trying to destroy Superman while also taking on other malefactors that are trying to destroy the world. He saves the Kryptonian city of Kandor from Brainiac, freeing it from a bottle and restoring it to normal size. He delivers Metropolis from the grasp of The Prankster, who wreaks havoc through riddles, and The Toyman, who goes on a calamitous rampage with his toys. The people of Metropolis feel their safety is always in the hands of Superman, causing them to venerate him. He destroys Doomsday to defend the people even though it costs him his own life.
The ideals of heroism differ from generation to generation, but the history of legendary superheroes has been carried on. Whether in the times of the Anglo-Saxons or the twentieth-century, men of great character, bravery, and loyalty are revered as heroes. Each man has humility, honor, and chivalry that gives him a place in society and makes more men want to follow his example.
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