Beowulf is an Epic Hero Essay
469 Words2 Pages
Every epic hero possesses certain heroic characteristics. The epic poem Beowulf describes the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. Beowulf is the hero. He shows that he is a great man by always putting other things before his own needs. He is important and needed by his people and is known by many as a strong, courageous and a helpful person. He shows all of the qualities and traits that a true hero possesses.
Beowulf, like other epic heroes, possesses the following heroic qualities: epic heroes are superhuman types of beings. They show great bravery, intelligence, strength and resourcefulness. They have a strong admiration for the values of their society. They are dominant male figures and suffer severe pain, but in the end, they…show more content…
This shows Beowulf’s strength, courage and fearlessness. Through this it is evident that he possess courageous traits.
Beowulf’s strength is exemplified many times in the story. Beowulf was said to have “the strength of thirty men in his mighty handgrip.” He fought in numerous battles and returned victorious from all but his last. In his argument with Unferth, Beowulf explains the reason he lost a swimming match with his opponent Brecca. Not only had Beowulf been swimming for seven nights, he had also stopped to kill nine sea creatures in the depths of the ocean. Beowulf is also strong enough to kill the monster Grendel with his bare hands by ripping off his arm. When Beowulf is fighting Grendel’s mother, he is able to slay her by slashing the monster’s neck with a giant sword that can only be lifted by a person as strong as Beowulf. When he chops off her head, he carries it from the ocean with no difficulty, but it takes four men to lift and carry it back to Heorot. This strength is a key trait of Beowulf’s heroism.
Another heroic trait of Beowulf is his ability to put his people’s welfare before his own. Beowulf’s uncle is king of the Geats so he is sent to help kill Grendel. His actions toward Grendel show that he is willing to help others. In an epic it is usually found that the hero often determines the fate of a nation or group of people. He uses his super-human physical strength
Beowulf as a Hero Essay
754 Words4 Pages
The poem, Beowulf, by Seamus Heaney, depicts Beowulf as a perfect hero. Beowulf is the mythical son of Edgetho and later becomes the king of the Geats. In the poem, Beowulf's shows heroism in two different phases of his life, youth and old age. Throughout the poem, Beowulf faces three difficult conflicts with Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon. Throughout the novel Beowulf is a noted and respected warrior from Geatland. During Beowulf's youth, he is considered to be a great warrior, portrayed by his strength, courage, and bravery. Beowulf begins his legacy in Denmark with an evil monster, Grendel. Grendel is ruining King Hrothgar's kingdom and is ritually tormenting him. The monster breaks into the castle and eats as many of…show more content…
He kills Grendel's mother by cutting of her head. When the fight is over Beowulf swims back to through the lake to his men. The men rejoice with Beowulf and they all go back to Hrothgar's battle hall. When they arrived back Beowulf shows, "Grendel's head dragged across the floor . They stared in awe. It was an astonishing sight" (113). Hrothgar rewards Beowulf with gold and important advice about being a king. Beowulf's defeat of Grendel and Grendel's mother certifies his reputation for bravery and establishes him as a full hero. When Beowulf returns to Geatland the narrator focuses on the very end of his life. In Beowulf's later years he is crowned King of Geatland, and considers himself to be both a warrior and a king. When Beowulf encounters the dragon, the responsibilities of being king are shown. He must act for the good of the people and not just for his own glory. During Beowulf's ruling a runaway slave finds a hidden tower in Geatland. An evil dragon lives in the tower to guard the golden treasure. The slave steals a golden cup and "a dragon on the prowl from the steep vaults of a stone-roofed barrow where he guarded a hoard..." (151). The dragon leaves the tower and the next night the dragon begins burning villages, people, and Beowulf's castle. Beowulf hears about the dragon and meets him with many of his warriors by his side. He fights the dragon but is losing because he has gotten older. Wiglaf, one of his warriors, runs to