It is this part in the poem that somewhat revealed the importance of his boastfulness in this poem. Other heroic tales have helped us form a set of characteristics that tend to describes heroes, one of those characteristics being humble. Humbleness is not only a heroic trait but that of a good person—which is why Beowulf’s bragging tends to throw the audience off. Beowulf builds himself up with his words. By this I mean he boasts about his previous ventures and his success to come because this helps the Danes and King Hrothgar gain confidence in him concerning the defeat of Grendel.
Instead of getting treasures for the Danes or even his own people, he brings back Grendel’s head that provides no real gain other than a symbol of how courageous and heroic he was. Beowulf does this because he had remorse for not delivering Grendel’s dead body to the Danes, but also because he wanted to ensure that stories of his courageous acts and god-like heroism spreads among rapidly among a vast number of people and
He then goes on to defeat and kill to more monsters while staying with the Danes. Despite that Beowulf is different from others perception of a traditional hero, he still shows many of the characteristics of a Traditional hero. He is still strong, brave, and has helped people just a traditional hero would. The way Beowulf shows his strength throughout the whole story is amazing. He starts out with going to what is now called Denmark to defeat and kill the monster called Grendel.
He becomes often associated with the image of a perfect, almighty warrior, able to prove his fame in any situation. However, the foil characters can do more than purely illuminate his positive values. With the contrast they provide, Beowulf’s faults are revealed and criticized as well. Although foil characters often point out the greatness of Beowulf, they also serve to highlight Beowulf’s flaws, teach him lessons, and allow him to change, as seen in his interactions with Unferth, Hrothgar, and the dragon.
Beowulf’s bravery is shown throughout the whole story. For example, when he decides to fight Grendel without any weapons seeing as how Grendel does not attack and kill with weapons. This shows much bravery and as he said in the story “My hands/alone shall fight for me, struggle for life/ against the monster.” (Raffel, 267-270) Beowulf here is talking about how he will fight Grendel with his own bare hands seeing as it will be a fair fight.
In addition, Beowulf's bravery and courage shows that nothing nor anything is a match towards him. Therefore, Beowulf gathers up his men to head over to Herot because king Hrothgar is in need of help. Grendel the beast and villain of the poem has been terrorizing Herot by eating
Here, Wiglaf proves himself the better man because he has honor while the others, who willingly abandoned their King in battle, clearly do not. Lastly, Beowulf and Wiglaf both show outstanding loyalty throughout the piece. All of Beowulf’s actions are clearly motivated by loyalty, starting with his decision to help the Danes.
In life there are people and there are other people who are extraordinary. These people risk their lives, are courageous, and go the extra mile for someone or something. These people are heroes. In the story Beowulf, Beowulf is a hero. He is considered a hero because he fits under each of these qualities.
(14) This tells me that he was brave and he risked his life to save others. In the article “What’s With These Guys?” Kristen Lewis, it explicitly states, “They risk their lives to protect the innocent and the vulnerable, often against seemingly impossible odds.” (18) Another way superheroes inspire us to be our better selves is to have compassion about others.
The basic traits of being a hero are simple. You must have courage, selflessness, humility, loyalty, patience and care deeply about others. “A hero is a person or main character of a literary work who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through impressive feats of ingenuity, bravery or strength, often sacrificing their own personal concerns for a greater good. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero)”. One of the most important works in Old English literature is Beowulf, it is a great example of an epic hero.
The only thing I could do was ignore those voices and move on to prove them wrong and that is exactly what I did. “Carrying the sword Hrunting, Beowulf goes to the lake where Grendel’s mother has her underwater lair. Then, fully armed, he dives to the depths of this watery hell” (page 39, in italics). After Beowulf and Grendel’s outcome, Unferth realizes he was wrong and even offers a truce, by giving him a sword, Hrunting, and supporting him against his next great battle. Beowulf stood up for himself, went out and defeated Grendel, and saved the mead hall, while proving Unferth wrong.
The odds seem unlikely for a regular man; however, Beowulf is not like most men. Another trait of Beowulf includes his loyalty to his friends and family. Beowulf leaves his country to travel to an unknown land to defeat a monster who could kill him. He has the loyalty to this country which he has not even stepped foot on it. A couple of years after Grendel’s death, he becomes friends with the Danish king.
What is a hero? Ask a child and he or she may say a superhero like Superman or Batman. But we all know that heroes are not just those people who defeat the bad guy and save the day. Spanning through millennia, there have been many differences in the meaning of a hero.
“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.
Beowulf is the epitome of the ideal Anglo-Saxon epic hero. The numerous amount of characteristics that he possesses benefit him in many ways, but eventually lead to his downfall. As depicted in Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, the qualities found in Beowulf that were most admired by his society include inhuman strength, unreserved loyalty, and unending bravery. Beowulf was said to have inhuman strength amounting to “the strength of thirty in the grip of each hand” (380-381). Beowulf exposes this truth even further by dismembering the arm of Grendel, a devilish ogre brute, from his body.