A common theme in mid-evil literature seems to be heroism. Two such cases of literature is Beowulf, by an unknown author, and The Prince, by Niccolo Machavelli. In these works, the author seems to be giving their ideas and philosophies on how to be a good leader. In this essay, I will examine both of these texts, analyze the traits the author gives for being a good leader, and argue why I believe that Beowulf is a better example of a leader.
A heroic attribute that Beowulf possesses is his physical strength. He fought numerous battles and returned victorious from all of them except for his last. When the Danes were being terrorized by a monster named Grendel, it was Beowulf they called on to help them. He came and was strong enough to rip its arms off. Then, Beowulf slashed Grendel’s mother’s head off, when she came to seek revenge for her son’s death. The sword he used in this battle was so heavy, it normally takes four men to carry it, but Beowulf can carry it with ease.
Another heroic trait of Beowulf is his ability to be loyal to his people, no matter what the obstacle. He is sent to help the Danes to get rid of the evil Grendel. Beowulf risks his own life for the Danes, asking help from no one. He realizes the dangers but fears nothing for his own life. After Beowulf had served his people as King of the Geats for fifty years, he goes to battle one last time to fight a horrible dragon that is frightening all of his people. Beowulf is old and tired, but he realizes that it is his responsibility as the king to go battle this dragon. He goes on to defeat the dragon in order to protect his people. Even in death he wished to secure safety for the Geats, so a tall lighthouse was built in order to help the people find their way back from sea.
The most heroic of traits within Beowulf is that he is not afraid to die. He always explains his death wishes before going into battle and requests to have any possessions delivered ...