In the provided translation of the ancient Anglo-Saxon poem Judith, the author presents the story of an atypical, yet ultimately genuine hero: Judith, a widowed member of the oppressed Israelite town of Bathetic, who through the clever use of only her wits, beauty, and unending education to the continued freedom of her people, leads them to a well-earned victory over the antagonistic General Holystones and King Nebuchadnezzar tyrannical rule.
While some may argue that Jujitsu’s character is unworthy of the title of hero, given the arguably underhanded meaner by which she achieves victory, when viewing the story as a whole and taking into count Jujitsu’s fearless – and selfless – pursuit of her people’s freedom, as well as her genuine lasting faith in God, one is unable to deny that she is a true hero. The first and most notable characteristic which strengthens Jujitsu’s character into heroic material is undoubtedly the steadfastness of her faith in God.
In the original book of Judith found in the Hebrew Bible, after convincing her town’s leaders to hold out for several days before surrendering to Holystones’ armies, Judith puts her plan into action and insinuates herself, using her beauty and charm, into the General’s souse. The provided poem opens at this point, after Judith has already set her agenda in motion, and immediately the reader is provided with descriptions of Jujitsu’s “true faith in the Almighty” (6-7) which is, ultimately, her saving grace.
Even as she “[takes] a sharp sword, a hard weapon in the storms of battle, and [draws] it from the sheath with her right hand” (78-79) with the intention of executing Holystones as he lay drunken and sleeping, she beseeches “the Guardian of heaven by name, the Savior of all the inhabitants of the earth” and begs for mercy “in [her] time of need” (85). The reader is stricken by the desperation in Jujitsu’s prayer, and the guilt which she ultimately feels; she describes her heart as being “intensely inflamed within [her] now… Her] mind troubled, greatly afflicted with sorrows” (86-88). This display of guilt shows that Judith is not simply murdering Holystones because of personal dislike; she feels truly guilty for her actions, enough to beg god for mercy before she commits them, but is still not swayed from her mission to stop the spread of King Nebuchadnezzar corrupt rule over her people. The second trait that proves Jujitsu’s heroism is her unflinching bravery in the face f war.
After beheading Holystones and escaping the city unharmed, Judith announces to her people that they no longer have anything to fear and that she has “deprived [Holystones] of life through God’s help” (185-186). She proclaims that the city should “hasten to battle” (189) as soon as possible, while Holystones’ army is weakened, and that the soldiers of her nation “will possess glory, honor in conflict, just as mighty God has given [them] that sign by [her] hand” (196-198). In both her actions and speech, Jujitsu’s admirable bravery is apparent.
She does not regret her actions, nor does she fear battle, because to her the promise of a free life for her people is worth the risk. Another characteristic that makes Judith an admirable hero is her selflessness. Even when snowshoe Walt gluts Ana relines rater ten Israelites placatory, Julian persists in her faith and “[says] thanks to the Lord of hosts, who had given her honor and glory in the kingdom of this earth, and also her reward in heaven” (340-343). Jujitsu’s motivations were not selfish, and indeed were only for the liberty of her people. This, among other factors, make her a truly inspiring heroic figure.