Beowulf: Quintessential Anglo-Saxon Hero

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“In Anglo-Saxon culture and literature, to be a hero was to be a warrior. A hero had to be strong, intelligent, and courageous” (Dogra 79). Furthermore, he had to be an honorable warrior who did not cower at the thought of an impossible battle. Rather, he trudged forward, prepared to the rattle cages of the strongest, evilest, and most damnable villains known to men. He personifies strength, loyalty, and bravery. A hero is no mere man. He exceeds mortal capacity and indulges in extraordinary. Thus, Beowulf is a hero because he represents the characteristics-strength, loyalty, and bravery- of an honorable warrior. Beowulf is the quintessential Anglo-Saxon hero because his strength is unparalleled (Dogra 80). This is evident through the fact he tears Grendel limb to limb even though Grendel is described as an incredibly strong monster. Although, some believe Beowulf’s inhuman strength nullifies his hero status seeing as how it makes him…show more content…
He exemplifies this loyalty through his battle with Grendel considering he defeats Grendel as a method to repay his father’s debt to Hrothgar. Furthermore, even 50 years later when the Dragon was terrorizing his own land, Beowulf continued to fight to protect his people. These actions of self-sacrifice for the common good further prove that Beowulf is a hero or honorable warrior because they relate directly to the portrayal of Christ in the “Dream of the Rood,” a character many distinguishable scholars have claimed provide a powerful description of a hero and savior due to his self-sacrifice (Dogra 80). On the contrary, some might say that Beowulf is not a hero because he is selfish. Those who say this would rely on the excerpt of Beowulf where he watches Grendel tear apart his men to learn Grendel’s fighting patterns. In retrospect, this seems selfish and egotistical, but placing the safety of one person above the community often leads to larger sacrifice in the

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