Beowulf the Epic Hero

December 10, 2016 General Studies

Every epic hero possesses certain heroic characteristics. Beowulf, like other epic heroes, possesses the following heroic qualities: epic heroes are superhuman types of beings. They have a noble birth and show great bravery. They display great intelligence and resourcefulness. They have a reverence for G-d and for the values of their society. They are dominant male figures and suffer severe pain, but in the end, they conquer evil (Vivone 9/27/99). In addition to Beowulf’s heroic qualities, he is very strong. Beowulf was said to have “the strength of thirty [men] in his mighty handgrip” (Bloom 11). Early proof of Beowulf’s extraordinary strength is evidenced by his dismemberment of Grendel’s limb, the fight in the cave under water, and the magic sword (Klaeber xiv). Beowulf partook in many supernatural battles and events. The demeanor of Beowulf is considered a main fantastic element. When Beowulf fights Grendel and Grendel’s mother, he is immortal. Then, suddenly, he becomes mortal and falls to the dragon (Klaeber xxiv). In Beowulf, marvelous elements are everywhere. They include a fire breathing dragon and sea monsters (Burlin 119). There are additional examples of the use of fantastic elements in Beowulf. Beowulf single-handedly carrier thirty suits of armor from the battlefield in Frisnia and swims with them through the North Sea and the Skagerrak to Geatland, a distance of five hundred miles (120). In Beowulf’s early life, he swam for five to seven days with his companion Breca, killing sea monsters by night. During his swim match with Breca, Beowulf dressed in full armor, was attacked by nine sea monsters and killed them all.

Grendel is a monster, who occupies a human-like form; he is devilish and is a descendant of Cain. He is “the guardian of sins”. He is similar to Satan, because he is superhuman in size and strength and is hostile towards man. Grendel kills mortals by.

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