The Many Heroes Of our Day
Heroes, since the time they were first written and recorded heroes have been the ones to set the example and uphold the morals and beliefs of the people. There have been, in general, three key ages of heroes: Anglo-Saxon Age, Middle age, and Modern age. They all have changed throughout time to fit the ways of the culture in each of their time period. The different characters that were written about, all went through different journeys and different quests according to what was considered “entertainment” during that age, but all kept the same basic morals, no matter the age.
In the Anglo-Saxon age, the heroes were out for fame and glory; they wanted nothing more but to be remembered in fame, fortune, and their loyalty to the king.. In the story Beowulf, it says ” .had been served as he’d boasted he’d serve them: Beowulf, a prince of the Geats, had killed Grendel…” (Beowulf pg. 24 lines 119-120). It is clearly sated that he boasted about his victory in killing Grendel. It was not a humble action he had done, but one to gain more fame and glory and to emphasize his victory. “And then, in the morning, crowds surrounded Herot, warriors coming to that hall from faraway lands” (Beowulf pg. 24 lines 127- 129) The people would come all around and give these heroes exactly what they wanted, fame. The knights of the time did the good deeds, and in return got what they wanted. The Anglo-Saxons had nothing more to do with their lives than to be honored in life as well as in death.
In the times of Middle age heroes, the ideas of who they were changed a bit from Anglo-Saxon times and they became known to do the heroic things for women and have a new thing called chivalry. The in story The Wife of Bathes Tale it says, ” long, long ago in good King Arthur’s day, there was a knight who was a lusty liver.” (Wife of Bath’s Tale pg. 157 lines 57-58). Even though he was a knight, meaning he was one to protect and set the standards for society, he was “lusty”. This meant he had a longing for women and most likely would do anything he could in his power to get one. “Some women said that women wanted wealth and treasure, “honor,” said some, and some “jollity and pleasure,”” (Wife of Bath’s tale pg. 158 lines 101-102). The women even in these stories supported the ideas of the knights in that they knights wanted women so women wanted everything knights had. The knights still upheld saving people from danger but they had a new found lust for women. The knight’s new motive for their quest was to then be loved by the opposite sex.
In the modern times, the heroes changed in that now not just males are heroes that are considered knights and are out to save a king, but women, children etc are doing heroic task for the good of all mankind, but also in some cases, for the love of another. “The story of Superman’s origin parallels that of other cultural heroes and religious figures who were spirited away as infants from places where they were in danger,” (superman Information). Super man would save infants from danger. The simple people were being protected now, not just big town and cities. “In the original Superman comics (1940s to 1985), Superman disguised himself as mild mannered Clark Kent,” (Superman Information). The character now was being portrayed as an everyday person. It was no longer the “knight” or divinely appointed person, but simple everyday people. The modern day is up for anything and anyone can be anything.
No matter the time they were created, all heroes upheld the same honor and integrity, setting good and perfect examples for people of their time. Morton W. Bloomfield surmises, “The original hero in early literature was probably based on the king who died for his people, the warrior who defeated the tribe’s enemies…. These men … were celebrated in song and story and … presented again to the people so that they could participate in their magic”