Courage, isn't that a common word. It's something that has lost its meaning. So now we have people coming up with things like ultimate courage to try to supersize the current definition of courage which is just insane because then we will end up devaluing the word of ultimate courage and move onto something like super-ultimate courage just to make kids feel like they're perfect little special snowflakes when in reality most of the stuff they do is terrifyingly average and dull, but of courrse we can't have them thinking that otherwise they might actually try to change things (which I will admit has turned into a problem in the past few years as exemplified by Tumblr and radical Social Justice Warriors.)
But I digress, is there an actual meaning to courage and does it exist. The answer would be yes and no. This is because of the fact that it is an abstract concept personality facet conjured by humans from real extents, so there will not be a single objective thing that is courageous to everyone, which is where the problem lies in trying to supersize it. But if we want to go with my view, courage does not exist as that would imply something that would have pretty much only negative outcomes for you, which is impossible as the human brain would just not render it as a possible option. However if it does then that would mean that the good outweighs the bad at which point it just becomes natural and not courageous.
Guess what all you loyal followers. I'm reading the famous book of the English language by Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, but more specifically, 'The Pardoners Tale.' Now I know this is just such a fun book to read so I have to do the super fun assignment of telling the examples of this specific short story in the collection being an exemplum. So let's begin
First lets get the definition of an exemplum straight outta google.
noun, plural exempla [ig-zem-pluh]
An anecdote that illustrates or supports a moral point, as in a medieval sermon.
Now if we want to get some examples. We can start as far back as foreshadowing of the prologue where the Pardoner himself states that "I preach against the very sin I make my living out of-Avarice," this not only shows that the Pardoner will be a bad moral, as expected as Chaucer was very much against the practice of indulgences in the then contemporary time, but it also helps to show the moral of the story as being against Avarice due to the negative wording of it.
Another part of exemplum is the concept of the characters being allegories, this is found in the first page with the character of death who has supposedly "killed a thousand in the current plague..." thus with the large body count and the time this book was written, we could make the assumption that Death is a metaphor for the Bubonic Plague that struck Europe in the Middle Ages and killed off 60% of the European population in 3 years.
Another significant character is the gambler who shows himself to be a bad character in that he is not exactly intelligent and he continually jumps to conclusions and rarely thinks things through before doing them suc has hunting down Death and attacking an old man for supposedly working with Death. Which reinforces the moral lesson that Chaucer is trying to make in not being quick to anger and being patient
I can be created but never destroyed.
I can be stabbed but never killed.
I can be shot but never crippled.
I can be stopped, but never silenced.
You will hear me through everything whether you want to or not.
You can crush me into nothing, and I will come back stronger.
What am I
So, now instead of comparing Beowulf to a terrible movie that was only very loosely based off the epic poem Beowulf, I am getting to do something more fun and instead be comparing it to another Epic Poem of great stature from the Greeks, The Lliad. But we're not going to be comparing the stories to each other. Instead we are comparing the heroes of each to one another in terms of epic hero levels, Beowulf versus Achilles. Who will win, I have no idea at this point, so you'll need to read to find out.
The first thing we will focus on is there mental fortitude, now in my opinion, they both fail in this department in different ways. Achilles shows himself to place his feeling above his rational actions, which as he states, almost led him to killing the king. Now Beowulf also has a problem with rationality in that he always believes that fate decides the battle and not himself which I believe turns into a self fulfilling prophecy at the end when he does die as he believes fate is against him in battle and almost gave up morale wise admitting that. So in other words, both of what one could call their biggest flaws could be seen in their emotionality and not physicality.
Since the first was a draw, it looks as if we will have to bring it to the next area of debate. Who is physically better. Now this one is also a very easy one as Beowulf still shows the ability to basically breathe underwater and pick up usually unusable objects as weapons as he picked up the sword to slay Grendel's mother, not to mention he beat a demon to death with his bare hands. Whereas Achilles only has the killing of a prince as a major accomplishment. So the choice of winner is obvious in this case.
So as I feel the word limit closing in on me, I will end with that brief overview in which Beowulf has come out as the better epic hero, however, The Lliad will always be known as much more useful in the development of western literature into its modern form.