Beolwulf The Hero

December 20, 2016 General Studies

A hero is a person noted for their act of courage and the nobility of their purpose in whichever tasks they perform. Beowulf does deserve to have the title of epic hero bestowed upon him simply because, everything he does is for the good of his people, and he always puts them before his own needs. Three of Beowulf's traits that support this are his amazing physical strength, his ability to put his people's welfare before his own and the fact that he does not fear death. An epic hero is characterized for having superhuman strength, Beowulf epitomizes this quality. For example as seen in the battle with Grendel "That shepherd of evil, guardian of crime, knew at once that nowhere on earth had he met a man whose hands where harder" (Lines 325 – 327).

Beowulf fought Grendel with his bear hands and won. Furthermore, when Beowulf fought Grendel's mother, who is seeking revenge on her sons death, he is able to slash her with the giant sword that could only have been lifted by Beowulf, "strong and blessed with their magic, the best of all weapons but so massive that no man could lift" (Lines 531 – 533). Beowulf even carried Grendel's head out of the lake, showing his brute strength. This strength is a key trait of Beowulf's heroism. Another good reason for bestowing the title of epic hero upon upon Beowulf is because he puts his peoples welfare before his own.

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Before every battle Beowulf gives a speech stating how he will go and fight alone without no fear or remorse. Although some readers might look at this as being arrogant, what Beowulf is doing is sacrificing himself for his people and his army. A perfect example would be " No one else could do what I mean to, here, no man but me could hope to defeat this monster, no one could try" (Lines 644 – 647). This depicts how he knows that he is the only hero with enough strength and bravery to put this dragon to rest for good. Even during death Beowulf asks that a tall tower is built for the safety of sailors that came from afar. Only a true hero would give anything for the survival of his people.

Beowulf's most heroic trait is that he is not afraid to die. Before battle, during battle, and even after battle Beowulf knows that death could come to him at any point in his life. Only a true hero will fight unconditionally knowing that death is lurking at every corner. "I shall shape glory with Hrunting, or death will hurry me from this earth!" (Lines 465 – 466). From reading those two lines it is obvious that he only had two choices, either live in glory or die by the hand of the beast, and one thing that is for sure about good and evil is that it always leads to either life and death. Being the epic hero that he was though he always made the right decision and came out triumphant.

"And so Beowulf's followers Rode, mourning their beloved leader, crying that no better king had lived, no prince so mild, no man so open to his people, so deserving of praise" (Lines 865 – 869). Beowulf was considered a very generous, kind, and strong person that is very hard to come by. His bravery and strength surpassed that of all mortal men, and his nobility that was far greater than you could imagine. His strength, his will to put his life before his people, and the fact he does not fear death makes Beowulf a true epic hero.


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