First, we can examine Beowulf, which holds the many values of Anglo-Saxons within it. Beowulf tells the story of a warrior who continuously proves himself in battle and always stays true to his values of being a honorable warrior. When Beowulf first comes to Herot to serve King Hrothgar who needs help protecting his people from the murderous savage named Grendel, he immediately shows he is an honorable warrior: “I have heard, too, that the monster’s scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. Nor will I” (Raffel, pg. 48, lines 261-264.) This shows that Beowulf would respect even his enemies and wanted to always be fair in his fights.
The first similarity between Beowulf and King Arthur are that they are both very brave. Beowulf traveled all the way to Denmark after hearing the plight their people were going through. He didn’t even know anything other than what he was told. As if that wasn’t brave Beowulf went on to never back down from any monster whether it be Grendel, Grendel's mother, or the dragon he didn’t ever run from a fight. While King Arthur didn’t do go around killing all these monsters he was brave in other aspects.
He continues to believe in Ithaca and dreams of his queen and never loses sight of his goal despite the years and many distractions. Odysseus takes risks, an example of this is in book IX, when he enters the Cyclopes cave not knowing what’s inside. He does many things throughout the epic that seem to lack judgement, but later show he always had it under control. Another quality that supports Odysseus being a hero is that he is blessed by a god, meaning they notice something great or godlike in him. Lastly the most important aspect of his heroism is that he isn’t a textbook hero, unlike Hercules, Odysseus embraces his flaws and mortality which makes him stronger.
The description of the hero Beowulf help the reader imagine the savior that faces evil. For example “ The grey bearded lord of the Geats ended those flying burning raids forever” (pg 68 lines 792-794). The imagery in this quote shows the great king old but still very brave. he is showing that his pride and fame will overwhelm even the fact that he is not as strong and young as he used to be.
During the battle one brother turns on the other, indicating that Polynices was on the wrong side. Since Polynices was on the wrong side he would not have a proper burial. In fact, Polynices would have no burial at all according to Creon when he states: “No one shall bury him, no one mourn for him. But this body must lie in the fields, a sweet treasure. For carrion birds to find as they search for food.”.
Beowulf demonstrated this trait as well all throughout his tale. After killing Grendel, before Beowulf was king, Beowulf’s work was done. He had finished what he set out to do. The land he saved wasn’t even his home land, so he didn’t really have any obligation to stay. When Grendel’s mom showed up to avenge her son, Beowulf could have traveled home and left the people of the land to deal with the beast.
I believe the idea of heroism from the time of Beowulf to now have changed drastically. In the time of Beowulf and the writing of Beowulf, a hero was seen as someone who had attributions such as bravery, honor, value, and arrogance. As we see many of these ideas in Beowulf himself, especially arrogance. You often hear throughout the reading that Beowulf always speaks highly of himself. He claims that he is the only one that has the ability to defeat Grendel.
Moreover, while fighting Grendel’s mother, Beowulf was sent into the marsh alone to dual with her. He was nearly killed in the process, but was able to overcome Grendel’s mother’s power. In his final battle, Beowulf was abandoned in the fight with the dragon. All but one of his men abandoned him during the fight with the dragon. In this fight, the outcast was unable to win alone.
When Beowulf battles the almighty dragon, “No help or backing was to be had then/from his high-born comrades; that hand-picked troop/broke ranks and ran for their lives/to the safety of the wood. But within one heart/sorrow welled up: in a man of worth/the claims of kinship cannot be denied./His name was Wiglaf, a son of Weohstan’s” (Heaney 2596-2602). This replacement of Beowulf is not only a paramount figure as Wiglaf is one of the greatest allies Beowulf could ask for. A relatable example to further commentate on this topic is the character Harry Potter’s two allies Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley as they continuously help and save each other similar to Wiglaf and Beowulf (Rowling).
Compare and Contrast In both Grendel and Beowulf, Beowulf is perceived as a warrior who ultimately ended Grendel's life. However, there are different standpoints of the way Beowulf acted and how he took Grendel's life. From both books, you can see the likeness and also the differences in which Beowulf made himself out to be in the book Beowulf and how he was actually seen by Grendel in Grendel.
Dylan Monroe 09/17/17 Schroder English 4 standard Beowulf is an epic poem about our hero Beowulf fighting monsters. This epic was made by monks in 1000 AD. Beowulf is sent out at first to kill a monster named Grendel, this monster’s fight takes place in Grendel's dining hall. The second fight is with Grendel's mother in her home or the swamp. Beowulf's third and last fight is with the dragon which beowulf is unfortunately killed in.
Introduction 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).