Beowulf Is Not A Hero Analysis

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In the epic poem “Beowulf” the character Beowulf is the foundation for all of our modern heroes, but was he really a great hero? A hero is classified as a person who is admired for their bravery, achievements, or nobility. Although Beowulf displays all these qualities, there are several reasons he is not a hero, mainly him being egotistical and arrogant. This is why Beowulf is not a heroic person. Beowulf is often caught bragging about himself and his great accomplishments. Beowulf says “The noblest and wisest counselors of my people advised me to come to you, lord Hrothgar because they knew of my great strength.”(page 13, paragraph 4) Beowulf says he destroyed the race of giants, killed sea monsters and he endured hardships to avenge…show more content…
He did travel across the sea to kill a demon and then the demon’s mother for what seemed to be good will. Beowulf even states he is helping Hrothgar since he had helped Beowulf’s father in the past and Beowulf is returning the favor. Yet, Beowulf is still acting on his pride. He wants to defeat Grendel being that no one has been able to in the past and killing the monster for the Danes would surely bring him more honor and treasures. Beowulf never says that is why he is helping Hrothgar, but the context in which Beowulf says why he is there would suggest he cares more about glory than loyalty like he originally said. Yes, Beowulf is brave, but not because he wants to do the right thing, he wants gold and glory. Beowulf is known as a great hero and on the surface he is. He seems to be brave and just but underneath that, Beowulf is extremely arrogant and egotistical. Beowulf does not just do things for they are the right thing to do, he does them seeing that great deeds will bring him honor and boost his reputation. He fights Grendel for bragging rights like the swimming contest Unferth brought up and he refuses to use a sword when fighting Grendel because it will just add to his bravery. Even if we take into the time period in which it was written, Beowulf is not the shining hero he

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