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
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.
Additionally, Beowulf’s immense courage makes him fit for representing the ideal epic hero. Beowulf is brave and he does not avoid doing anything that might be dangerous or risky. Beowulf is even willing to give up his life, when he performs some of the courageous deeds. For example, when Beowulf plans to fight Grendel, he tells Hrothgar: “’the monster’s scorn of men / Is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. / Nor will I’”
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.
Strength is the key physical aspect that links both Beowulf and Achilles together. For both men, their strength is measured by how many people they defeat. With this being said, the battles that both men endure test the physical strength they claim to have. On one hand, Beowulf is known for his numerous battles and throughout the poem, Beowulf is put to the test with each monster he fights. On the other hand, Achilles strength is pivotal during the Trojan War in which he displays himself as an excellent warrior.
¨True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life, in whatever shape they may challenge us to combat¨- Napoleon. Clearly, Napoleon is explaining that a hero will conquer any negative things in life that challenge them. For example, modern day superheroes always overcome their problems in life. Modern day superheroes such as Batman, Superman, and Spiderman fight the villains and grow superior to the negative aspects in their lives. Similarly, heroes in poems and books gain their heroic name by defeating the ills of life.
Sometimes ones greatest trait can also be the leading cause of their undoing. We see exactly that in the epic hero, Beowulf, of the anonymously written, Beowulf. As much as he is an epic hero, he is also a tragic one. His pride and excessive braveness lead him to fall while sacrificing himself to defeat a dragon, saving his kingdom. Creon of Sophocles' tragic play Antigone, deals with the same issue as Beowulf.
Beowulf’s Courage Makes an Epic Hero A good example of an epic hero is from the epic poem Beowulf, written by Seamus Heaney, focusing on the titular character Beowulf because he is known for his courage which is used to create more characteristics that an epic hero should have. The best place to start is with an example of Beowulf valuing his courage, where Jones reminds the reader “Beowulf himself speaks to this importance of courage when arguing with Unferth” (Jones 3). Another good example is in the packet The Middle Ages: The Epic Hero, where Jones states that an epic hero “has 12 main characteristics, including being strong, courageous, and self-sacrificing” (Jones 2).
Throughout the poem of Beowulf his resources used and those close to him eventually only fail him in the end. At first in the poem Beowulf only relies on himself and his own strength he even goes as far as to take on the monster Grendel with his bare hands and without the protection of armor he fights him as an equal he is so sure of himself that he lets the monster attack him first while “sleeping” one could argue that Beowulf’s main source of strength is his belief in himself and those around him believing in him as well. After his fight with Grendel there is almost a plot line for how his battles go. When he is about to fight Grendel’s mother he is worried and nervous this is seen by Beowulf telling the king that if he dies to take his remains
Throughout the poem Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, the main protagonist, Beowulf, embodies the heroism, courage, and cleverness of a great epic hero in his battling against Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. Similar to profound figures like Odysseus, Hercules, and Aeneas, Beowulf demonstrates characteristics of bravery and virtue during his adventures in liberating Heorot from Grendel and slaying the dragon to protect Geatland. By examining Beowulf’s valor, nobility, and ultimate sacrifice when facing his opponents, one can argue that Beowulf’s character is the quintessential epic hero, embarking on perilous quests for the betterment of mankind. After learning about the terror Heorot was facing from Grendel, Beowulf voyaged with his men to Hrothgar’s kingdom, vowing to face Grendel and allowing God to decide who will be victorious in battle.
Beowulf comes from a well respected family. His dad, the King of the Geats, allows Beowulf to step up as a hero and prove himself. He led his hero’s journey by conquering many, as well as keeping his reputation of coming out on top when it came to fighting battles. He shows many hero-like characteristics throughout the book such as bravery, courage, honor, and leadership which students and teachers alike still consider honorable in today’s day and age. Being a hero requires one to conquer many obstacles.
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).
“True war heroes traditionally were those who were able to overcome danger, those for whom their true character came out under stress” (Cannon 3). A true hero starts off with a call to action where he or she must make the decision of whether to go or not. When the hero decides to go they will embark on a journey that will transform them into the hero they are now. Similar to Beowulf when Hrothgar asked for his help with fighting Grendel. Beowulf then sailed across the sea to Hrothgar’s kingdom and rid the Danes of Grendel saving thousands of lives while risking his own.
Deeds Make the Hero Hero, a person who proves that they can battle adversity, shows selfless acts everyday, and is often strong mentally and physically. A hero is not just an individual who saves others and combats evil, a hero is one who can overcome misfortune while staying confident and calm. Heroes often come to the rescue of others in movies and books, but most often real heroes go unnoticed. You may have a hero in your life that you do not even realize that you have.