Near the end of his life as a king, Beowulf found that his citizens were being terrorized by a dragon. Although he was old and grizzled, the king took it on in battle. He showed tremendous courage even when knowing the odds were not in his favor. Previously, during his time in Denmark, Beowulf killed Grendel’s mother with the sword made for a giant. This showed his superhuman strength because as an ordinary human being Beowulf was able to handle and control the giant’s sword.
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 epic poem, Beowulf is about a hero who comes to the aid of King Hrothgar. Hrothgar’s Mead Hall was being destroyed by a demon that lurked the boundaries of the small town. Beowulf hears the news and comes to try to defeat the demon. He performs this admirable deed because he wanted to achieve immortality by being a hero. He fought the monsters with his bare hands. He had the true characteristics of a hero, strength, bravery, and courage. Nobody would dare do the things Beowulf attempted in his lifetime. I envisage during all his battles he possesses all the traits of an epic hero. So, Beowulf, travels from Geatland to save Herot from the demons that lurk about.
Being an epic hero, Beowulf was very brave and battled many immortal creatures. One monster he came across was Grendel. “Conceived by a pair of the monster born of Cain, murderous creatures banned by God..,”(44), Hrothgar’s men would say. This is a reference from the Bible, showing the evil portrayed in the monster Grendel. This monster went to Herot and killed thirty men just because he was hungry.
In the epic poem Beowulf, the protagonist, Beowulf, faces three “monsters” at different times in his life. The poem begins with Grendel, a monster who attacks only in the dark of night, tormenting the kingdom of Hrothgar. The last two sections of the epic detail the conquering by Beowulf of Grendel’s mother and the dragon. The battle between the monsters and Beowulf represent the theme of good versus evil in the poem, as well as the fusion of pagan and Christian ideals in the changing Germanic society. Grendel’s mother’s actions directly juxtapose the role of a woman in this time period, and the greediness of the dragon with his treasure contrasts with the virtues of what would be considered a good king.
The last trait that Beowulf shows is bravery. “Now help depends again on you and you alone. The gap of danger where the demon waits is still unknown to you. Seek it if you dare.” ( 1376-1379) No other person would go to the home of Grendel’s mother but Beowulf is no ordinary warrior.
1. How does Beowulf character compare with other heroes you know about? When compared against modern heroes, Beowulf comes off as a more of a rugged dirty character. When looking at heroes such as Captain America or Luke Skywalker, both of these characters are never pictured as dirty. Captain America, also known as Steve Rogers, is always pictured as clean and his suit never dirty, same thing with Luke Skywalker.
As the story progress, Beowulf became king of the Geats for 50 years when suddenly a dragon emerged from slumber began to burn down villages. However, Beowulf didn’t pay the slightest attention, but instead ignored what was happening. Finally, when the dragon burns down Beowulf’s throne room Beowulf decided that he needs to deal with the dragon. In Beowulf 's eyes, the lives of his citizens couldn’t even compare to his throne room. When Beowulf prepared to fight the dragon he said, “Now I am old, but as king of the people I shall pursue this fight for the glory of winning” (lines 2512-2514).
He could send troops and let someone else deal with the dragon but he does not. He faces the dragon himself like a true hero would. Knowing an enemy this strong could kill him he fights regardless in order to protect his people. Beowulf killed the dragon and gave his life for his people truly the actions of a hero. Even as a king he has nothing to prove to anyone by facing the dragon, which shows that he does not fight for himself he fights because he believes he needs to.
Questions of Honor: Beowulf Beowulf’s honor and integrity can be questioned throughout the entirety of the epic poem, Beowulf. Whether or not his actions are inspired by his own pompous arrogance or confidence, one can argue that he is a hero nonetheless. Evidence and experience prove that Beowulf is more of a fearless hero than an excessively prideful man, and his hubris is more than justified due to the formidable duties he is able to execute. Throughout the poem, Beowulf expresses his intense strength and courage to the fearful people in the poem. His daring sense of self-assurance is backed by his victories against all three monsters, (even though he suffers a tragic death after facing the dragon, it is a defeat nonetheless).
A hero's journey is a pattern of narrative identities that appears in many dramas, storytellings, myths, and psychological development. The journey consist of twelve different steps and in the story Beowulf we read about the magnificent and rough journey that Beowulf and this men accomplish. Many people question if Beowulf is considered a hero and if what he did was good. The journey that he embarked on, leads me to believe that Beowulf is a hero and always will be.
Beowulf knows that he will die in the battle with the dragon. Nevertheless, Beowulf voluntarily chooses to fight the dragon alone because he knows that he can kill it. He realizes the danger that presents itself with fighting the beast, and he does not want to subject his men to the ordeal. Beowulf enters the dragon’s den knowing that he will not return alive. Beowulf’s courage in entering the lair exemplifies the culmination of his perseverance.
Strength, honor, and resilience are all words that captures the essence of Beowulf. During the Anglo-Saxon era, Beowulf is a hero who strikes fear in his enemies and relief in his allies. Beowulf is widely-regarded as the most honorable and ruthless hero in all of the world; he defends villages of people from blood-hungry predators, defeats sea monsters, and defeats Grendel and Grendel’s mother in the epic poem Beowulf. However, Beowulf can be an egomaniac at times. For instance, before Beowulf’s epic fight and defeat of the monster Grendel, Beowulf strips nude and fights the monster nude to boast and show off.