Beowulf, Spenser’s Faerie Queene, Milton’s Paradise Lost
The hero of a classic poem usually embodies the virtues and ideals that are mostly treasured by the society from which the classic poem was composed. Beowulf is probably one of the most famous epic of classical, English literature. In the classic poem of “Beowulf,” Beowulf, a Scandinavian prince, is depicted as a classic hero who rescued the Danes from the monster, Grendel. All through the classic poem, various themes are advanced. They include wealth, Christian vs pagan views, and nobility among others. However, the classics’ most important premise is the struggle between virtue and evil. Beowulf is the manifestation of good over evil because of his capacity to carry out unselfish acts through the assistance he gives to other people. As portrayed in this epic, goodness can always defeat evil. Beowulf is an epic hero by virtue of his morals and ideals. Beowulf had three important virtues. He was always true to his word. He was brave and courageous and always made his father proud. Beowulf represents virtue by killing Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon that symbolizes evil.
In Spenser’s epic of the “Faerie Queene,” the primary goal is to educate young men on the virtues of life. Spencer makes use of illustrations such as the noble knights to advance his virtues of incapacitating temptations and acquiring knowledge on appropriate behaviors. Although the epic shares a similar theme to the Beowulf of virtue and Christianity, the author allows his passionate Protestantism to give the faerie Queene a predominantly anti-Catholic bias. Catholic profanations are portrayed in the person of Grantorto, Errour the monster, and disappointments of the knight Burbon. In each of this situation, the superiority of Protestantism over Roman Catholicism is depicted. The epic’s view of women is way ahead of its time. Britomart represents strong femininity. She has beauty and prowess in battle. Only Artegall can tame her, but they are equals in the battlefield. There are several virtues depicted by this epic. They include temperance, chastity, holiness, friendship, justice, and courtesy. Spenser consciously borrows from the works of Thomas Malory and the whisperers of the Arthurian legends in his classic narration. Nonetheless, Spenser also adopts precarious shots at the enigma loyalty. In this regard, he portrays most of the knights asineffectual and lacking morals.
John Milton wrote the “Paradise Lost” about three centuries ago. However, it is still relevant to the western literary canon, with its major theme a cause of major debate. The main question is on whether Satan is an epic hero as depicted in this epic. This question is very controversial as it touches on the core values and beliefs of the Christian faith against stern literary interpretations. In most instances, Satan has been depicted as ahostile and wicked creature that is always trying to challenge the hero of the story. In the “paradise lost,” Satan is depicted as a possible a hero or at least as a character worthy to be viewed in complex light. Milton also introduces God as a distanced and enraged. In addition, as the plot develops, there are instances when the reader can relate with Satan’s failures and desires. A hero in epics is a person who is good and confronts challenges. However, in “paradise lost,” this is challengedcritically. All the characters are complex with contradictory divisions.