Throughout the poem, Beowulf fights three different monsters and in each of these situations he chooses to begin the fight without their help. He enters into combat with his men by his side, but when the actual fighting begins he defeats the monsters with very little help from them. Beowulf’s strength and physical prowess was unlike any other man in comparison to his height and incredible grip. Furthermore, Beowulf can be categorized as an outcast based on his personality traits. The main character is set apart from the other warriors because of his courage and humility. The story tells of many characters who faced the same circumstances as Beowulf, yet failed to respond in a similar and valiant effort, like Beowulf. For example, when facing the dragon nearly all of his hand picked soldiers coward in fear. Beowulf then showed humility by turning down his first offer to be king. When Hrothgar died, he offered Beowulf the throne; however, he refused, which allowed the rightful heir, Hrothgar’s son to be placed into power. This decision exemplifies the value he placed on ethics and honor. The warrior defined himself as a unique character through his style of fighting, strength, and courage; which in turn caused him to be an outcast in comparison to the other
The idea of a hero is explored differently in the ancient Anglo-Saxon text Beowulf and John Gardner’s Grendel. During the time period of both of the stories being a hero is very important to everyone. Beowulf is not a true hero, even if he tries to make himself out to seem like a true hero, based on modern ideas of the Hero.
In conclusion, Beowulf would be considered a great warrior, but not a hero. Although Beowulf accomplished many heroic deeds he never did any of them for the right reasons. Therefore, Beowulf is not a hero, but only a warrior who values renown and rewards. From all this, we know that the perception of a hero from Beowulf’s time differs from our perception today. As we feel that the intentions define a hero while in Beowulf’s time the reputation and accomplishments are what makes a
Beowulf possessed the poised demeanor necessary to defeat all evils by the arrogant swing of his sword. The commitment shown by lending his life to the welfare of his people was imperative in order to be called a flawless warrior. Beowulf embodied the determination that Anglo-Saxons saw as unmeasurably valuable. If nothing more than just fiction, Beowulf is the ideal hero of the people from who he originated. “They said that of all the kings upon the earth he was the man most gracious and fair-minded, kindest to his people and keenest to win fame.” (Heaney
Beowulf showed the characteristic of loyalty. To be loyal you have to be reliable and you have to be very trustful. Beowulf shows loyalty when he says,“ I sought out Hrothgar, first,came to him in his hall;/When Healfdane's famous son heard/That I’d come to challenge Grendel,he gave me/A seat of honor alongside his son”(Beowulf 322-24). This shows loyalty to Hrothgar because he came to him to tell him he will fight Grendel and kill him, and he wanted to do it alone because he did not want anyone getting hurt. He did it for the safety of his people, and he stayed true to his word and killed Grendel. Beowulf also shows loyalty by the statement, “Beowulf ruled in Geatland/ Took the throne he’d refused,once/And held it long and well” (Beowulf 451-53). This resembled loyalty toward Beowulf because it shows how he stayed true to his word and can be trusted. The last characteristic Beowulf showed as an Anglo-Saxon hero was friendship. Beowulf resembled an enormous amount of friendship throughout the novel Beowulf. An example of friendship that the hero himself showed was, “He gave Herdred/ All his support, offering an open/Heart where Higlac's young son could see/Wisdom he still lacked himself ”(Beowulf 619-21). This is showing friendship by showing him support and helping Hendred like a friend would do. That is how Beowulf has the Anglo-Saxon hero characteristic.
In this paper, I will involve in exploring one trait of a hero in a nuanced and complex way. I will build this complexity by discussing two heroes who posses this trait, and one who does not. To illustrate, an epic hero is a character in the epic story or poem who is brave and noble. I will involve in exploring three heroes (Beowulf, Odysseus and Merry). Two of these characters (Odysseus and Boewulf) exhibit bravery trait while the other (Merry) does not.
Christopher Reeves once said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” Although Beowulf was human, he was not an ordinary individual, hero, or king, for he was a man who displayed superhuman qualities in his efforts to protect the Danish and Geatish people. Beowulf, who was established Geatish warrior that spent his life in battle, showed these extraordinary characteristics that made him an epic hero, one who possesses superhuman, almost god-like qualities. Being constantly on a quest, risking his life for glory and the greater good of society, and being superiorly intelligent, courageous and strong are the three most important reasons why Beowulf deserves such a notable
The heroes of Anglo-Saxon period were best defined as honorable warriors. Beowulf was invincible in his strength. He battles terrifying monster and risks his life. He showcases his heroic stoicism through his super-human physical strength. Grendel was a horrendous monster that was the incarnation of maleficence. Beowulf’s men had tried to use their weapons to fight, but Grendel “ blunted every mortal man 's blade” (Line 485). Beowulf, on the other hand, tore off Grendel’s arm with his bare hands. Without struggling much and within moments Beowulf had overpowered Grendel sent him crying in pain. Beowulf portrays his strength through his fight with Grendel’s mother. Beowulf sees a sword hanging that was exceedingly heavy which giants hammered on the wall. It was “so massive that no
What qualifies a person to be called a hero? Officially a hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Most people think of a superhero, like Batman or Spiderman, or someone closer to them such as their mother or their life-saving doctor. Heroes tend to be the main character in a story. Beowulf and Odysseus are two famous epic heroes in the texts Beowulf and The Odyssey. They both go through the “Hero’s Journey,” and display many characteristics of a hero. Beowulf, however, better fits the qualities of an epic hero due to his unselfish personality, his fearlessness, and his nobility.
Beowulf was honorable throughout this epic story. Beowulf was strong, smart, one whom the town was looked up to. When he killed Grendal, the townsfolk were happy and relieved.
In every heroic tale, there lies a theme of balance in values. Every hero is said to possess a fatal flaw; whether they overcome this flaw or let it define who they are is up to them. In the epic poem Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, it is not particularly hard for the reader to point out their perceived flaws of our hero: arrogance, pride, egotism. Yet, Beowulf stands tall in the poem as the perfect hero, adored and praised by all. Why is it that the modern day reader can so easily decide what makes a hero imperfect? Can a hero ever be perfect at all? Well, the difference is in the time period and the cultures. While it can be argued that Beowulf is perfect, or that Beowulf is flawed, the matter remains subjective depending
Literature has maintained a strong influence on society and its perceptions of heroes for centuries. In consequence, the time period in which a literary work is written reveals much about that society’s ideal. For example, the Anglo-Saxon epic, Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, illustrates the deeds of a heroic knight and reflects the values of his community. Throughout the poem, Beowulf displays commendable behavior by saving another kingdom, defeating three villains, and maintaining allegiance to the lord and his people. Even though a millennium has passed since the release of this epic, heroes today display characteristics similar to those of Beowulf. Yusra Mardini, for instance, is a Syrian teenager who, while escaping her war-torn
Literature has maintained a strong influence on society and its perceptions of heroes for centuries. In consequence, the time period in which a literary work is written reveals much about that society’s ideals. For example, the Anglo-Saxon epic, Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, illustrates the deeds of a heroic knight and reflects the values of his community. Throughout the poem, Beowulf displays commendable behavior by saving another kingdom, defeating three villains, and maintaining allegiance to the lord and his people. Even though a millennium has passed since the release of this epic, heroes today display characteristics similar to those of Beowulf. Yusra Mardini, for instance, is a Syrian teenager who while escaping her war-torn country, saved tens of refugees from drowning. Her heroic action
Beowulf reflects the traits that conformed to their masculine norms . While sorrowful Hrothgar laments the deaths caused by Grendel’s mother, Beowulf urges him to “not grieve” and to “avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning” (1384-5). However, earlier the epic alluded to a story about a princess named Hildeburh who after losing her husband, child, and brother, was “waylaid by grief” (1081). There is a definite contrast between how men and women are expected to confront loss- according to the patriarchal values, men avenge and women weep. Therefore, Beowulf is even more of an ideal masculine hero because he adheres the the Anglo-Saxon gender roles. He outright rejects feminine traits ergo, his character propagates ideals to the audience. In addition, the ability to sacrifice one’s life is tied directly to masculinity. When Grendel’s mother is seeking revenge for her son and needs to be killed, Unferth does not portray manly will. Thus, he is described as “not man enough/ to face the turmoil of a fight… and to risk his life”(1468-70). Through contrasting Beowulf’s readiness to kill Grendel’s mom and Unferth’s lack thereof, manliness is even more yearned for. The society can then use Beowulf’s standards and spurn Unferth’s behavior, forming a guide for individuals to
These values contribute toward Beowulf's Fame and determine his decisions and actions. Sometime after Beowulf returns victorious from Denmark, his king and father figure dies in battle. The Queen, afraid her own son was not capable of protecting them from their enemies, offers the crown to Beowulf. Beowulf declines this offer. "But Beowulf refused to rule when his Lord's own son was alive." "He gave Herdred all his support, offering an open heart where Higlac's young son could see wisdom he still lacked himself: warmth and goodwill were what Beowulf brought his new king." This shows Beowulf's loyalty to Higlac his late King, and to his family. Beowulf would not be dishonorable by taking what wasn't rightfully his; he would rather stand by Higlac's son and teach him all he knows. Beowulf is the hero to his King's son and country, by staying loyal and having honor. Beowulf does eventually become king when Higlac's son is killed. "Beowulf ruled in Geatland, took the throne he refused, once, and held it long and well." Because of Beowulf's well-known reputation, all the Geat's enemies were afraid to fight against the mighty warrior. As Beowulf reigned for years, all was peaceful, until 50 years have gone by and a dragon wakes from his