English 12 7th hour
A Hero is defined as, ” A man admired for his achievements and noble qualities.” (Marriam-Webster Dictionary, 1999) It’s the best word to describe mythological character Beowulf, and 35th U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Beowulf was a honorable man, who reigned as kind and the strongest warrior throughout land. J.F.K. charmed the U.S. with wit, kindness, and bravery. John F. Kennedy and Beowulf had similar heroic qualities.
Beowulf and Kennedy can both be noted for various brave act throughout their lives.
Beowulf was looked upon as the greatest warrior of his people, the Storm-Geats. His gratitude led him to help the King of Storm-Danes and his people. Beowulf was asked to rid the Storm-Daness of Grendal, and evil monster. Grendel had been attacking the Mead Hall, which the king had built. However, his evil deeds were unstoppable. Beowulf was put in command of killing Grendel. Beowulf’s extensive bravery lead him to kill Grendel single-handly. That was not the end of the Storm-Danes’ trouble. Grendel’s mom grew upset over her son’s death. She acted upon it and killed the King’s best friend. Beowulf was called upon. “Once again Beowulf, only you can help us.” (pg. 277) Beowulf agreed to challenge Grendel’s mom. However, his life near ended during the battle. Fortunately fate was on Beowulf’s side and he slaid the dreaded monster. Beowulf provided peace to the land of the Spear-Danes.
As did Beowulf, John Kennedy displayed excessive bravery, although not in any sort of battle. Kennedy had been excepted to the Navy, after being rejected several times for health problems.(Conover Hunter, J.F.K. for a New Generation, pg. 25) Kennedy was assigned head of a torpedo boat, which was stationed near the Solomon Islands. On a cold March night in 1943, his boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer. John, who had been wounded, swam another wounded man three miles in sea water. They finally found rest on a piece of wood. Kennedy again risked his life, by swimming in the dangerous water. Finally, John was rescued days later. The incident would cause several health problems for John later in life. For his heroism John received a Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Medal. (Conover Hunter, J.F.K. for a New Generation, pg. 26)
J.F.K. and Beowulf both risked their lives for others, gaining them respect. This resulted in superiority.
In reward of Beowulf’s victories over Grendel and Grendel’s mom, he was heavily rewarded. He was not only a famous warrior, but he lived in riches. He was loathed in valuable by king of the Spear-Danes, also by the king of the Storm-Geats. “Hgelac awarded Beowulf a golden sword that was the best of treasures among the Storm-Geats, a hall, a prince’s high seat, and a very large estate. Beawulf was now the most highly honored of men.” (pg.281). Sometime later, Beowulf was crowned king of the Storm-Geats. He now held full superiority over his people.
Unlike Beowulf, J.F.K. earned his superiorty through campaigns and elections. After a short career in journalism, Kennedy sought for one in politics. His opportunity arose when the seat for the 11th Massachusettes Congressional Distract in the House of Repesenatives opened. (Conover Hunter, J.F.K. for a New Generation, pg.52) J.F.K was taunted by several opponents, one even called him the “poor little rich kid” (Conover Hunter, J.F.K. for a New Generation, pg.53). In November, Kennedy was elected to the House of Represenatives. (Conover Hunter, J.F.K. for a New Generation, pg.56) In April of 1952, Kennedy announced his candicy of the United State’s Senate. Kennedy defeated his opponent by nearly 70,000 votes in November of that year. (Conover Hunter, J.F.K. for a New Generation, pg.71) In 1956, Kennedy wanted more. He had tackled with the idea of running for vice president earlier that year. Four years later, Kennedy decided not to settle for vice-president. He announced his candicy for the presidential election. At the Democratic Convention, Kennedy stated, ” We stand on the edge of a new frontier.” (Conover Hunter, J.F.K. for a New Generation, pg.102) In the smallest margin of victory in U.S. history, John F. Kennedy gained full superiority. He was now the President of the United States of America.
Among being superior and brave, people yearned to be just like John, or just like Beowulf.
Beowulf was adorned by many, he had been challenged by so many obstacles. His bravery defeated evil, to provide good for his people. His brute strength was admired by fellow warriors. No one would argue that Beowulf was the best warrior. Upon his death, he was praised, for he would dearly be missed. ” Let us listen to our beloved Beowulf’s wishes and upon these ashes let us build, for our most worthy of warriors, a barrow that will be as mighty an d memorable as his fame is throughout the wide world.” (pg. 288)
Like Beowulf, J.F.K. was adorned by his people. Throughout the country men wanted to be like John, wives like Jackie, and they wanted their children to be like John-John and Caroline. Parents wanted to be just as good parents as the John and Jackie. The Kennedy’s were the ideal American family.
The rainy day John F. Kennedy was assassinated is best remembered as the day the nation cried. It was as if a member of everyone’s family had died.
The story of Beowulf is still told and the memory of J.F.K. still exists with every American. Proving these men are surely heros. While each accomplished heroism in their own way, they share the same qualities. A quote once said by John F. Kennnedy, best describes how each man lived their life. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” ((Conover Hunter, J.F.K. for a New Generation, pg.145)