In the story, Beowulf and the poem Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen success is proven to be more important. Beowulf shows how success affects how a hero is seen. Beowulf proves he is a hero by killing monsters who have been terrorizing the people. Dulce et Decorum Est shows the audience that sacrifice is not worth it, this is shown by the narrator watching a man choke on gas and die during war, his sacrifice did nothing to the war. Success is more essential than sacrifice, it proves heroism and courage, while sacrifice does nothing but harm people. Many people will argue that sacrifice is more important than winning.
Although sacrifice can be needed in order to win, is it worth it? “The old lie: Dulce et Decorum est/ Pro patria mori”( Owen. 89). In war, the soldiers have to sacrifice their lives for the greater good, or at least that is what they believe. Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen, men were dying and sacrificing themselves left and right, all of that for the honor of war? “In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning”(Owen. 89). The person telling the story would rather succeed than watch everyone around him die. Not only is the sacrifice not worth it, without success, but people also would not be considered heroes.
In Beowulf, he challenged something not even the people of Herot dared to face. Although sacrifice can be a key element to winning, in Beowulf he gave Herot a chance of a good life, by killing Grendel. For example, the men in Herot could have stood up for themselves to Grendel, Grendel would have killed them. “Beating at my sword blade would be helpless. I will meet him with my hands empty, unless his heart fails him, seeing a soldier waiting, weaponless, unafraid”(Beowulf. 679-681). Even in today’s world sacrifice does not contribute to a cause. When people give sacrifice; people die and get harmed, and most will never get noticed for their sacrifice. When people win, they get rewarded for their efforts.
Success is more important than sacrifice, even throughout history. Success shows people strength and courage; which many people go for and never get. In Beowulf and Dulce et Decorum Est; success was proven to be more efficient than sacrifice, sacrifice is not necessary for being a hero, while success is.
Beowulf boasts of his great strength in the beginning of the poem when he tells Hrothgar that he has come to help them defeat Grendel. There is notable imagery as he explains that he has defeated sea monsters and other beasts in the interest of his countrymen: ‘Have watched me rise from the darkness of war, dripping with my enemies’ blood.’ Here, we can envision Beowulf coming out of battle and covered in blood; it gives us an image of a great warrior, like Rambo.