When Beowulf proceeds to fight Grendel he portrays bravery by sacrificing his own men before fighting Beowulf himself. This shows Beowulf is brave not only in the sense that he is willing to let his own men die, but he is willing to wait for all his men to die to fight Grendel himself instead of taking on Grendel with the help of his men. In addition Beowulf shows cunning in battle by not giving up and having the determination to do what needs to be done, which does go hand in hand with bravery. In the Illiad Achilles shows bravery by refusing to make a pact with Hector.
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. Beowulf’s bravery makes him refuse when people suggest for someone else to fight the dragon because of his old age. He says with great pride he will face the dragon and not run away “I feel no shame, with shield and sword/ and armor against the monster: when he comes to me/I mean to stand, not run from his shooting flames.” Beowulf feels no shame in using his armor to defeat the dragon.
Beowulf was recognized as the “strongest of the Geats” and an incomparable warrior whom none could surpass. What he is most noted for is how important he finds glory to be. When he requests to fight Grendel for Hrothgar he states he will fight without a sword, as Grendel fears none and fights using his claws. Beowulf fears that if he points his sword to a creature that uses none would be disgraceful and will not bring glory. “But Beowulf longed only for fame, leaped back into battle” line 486, this shows that even as Beowulf is faced with a fight that may be his last, his need for glory
So the warrior would have to do something that would let his memory be passed on. This society was based on the qualities of courage, being amicable, and the biggest quality of all was loyalty.Even though, for the last battle of Beowulf the all left him alone with the monster except for Wiglaf. He is a very brave man but has flaws and temptations that become his downfall. Although, he was adulated by everyone for killing the monster, he knew that he was a bad king to his kingdom and wanted to make up for it by killing getting the treasure and giving it to the kingdom. In Beowulf, there were similarities and differences between the humanity
Beowulf is a despicable leader that is able to lead his men to victory like the time they hunted and took down Grendel. Beowulf also displays great courage, for example, when he fought the dragon, he knew it was his last battle, but there was no hint of fear on his face and he fought like a warrior until the bitter end. These traits make someone a hero in today’s society. A hero that is willing to fight for what they believe in and lead people into the correct path. A hero that is willing to give their all and not give up when there is an immense obstacle up ahead.
Despite the fact that Beowulf has already won the acceptance of Unferth, who “had forgotten all those taunts he flung when tipsy with wine,” he still has a desire to prove himself and secure his status as a hero to the Dane people (49). Unferth loans Beowulf Hrunting, a sword that has never failed in battle, as a gesture to Beowulf being the better warrior. Even though Hrunting breaks and fails Beowulf in battle, he is still successful at killing the hellish monster. Once Beowulf resurfaces, he does not have the profuse amount of treasures that were in Grendel’s mother’s cave, but instead Grendel’s enormous head. Grendel’s head was so hard to move that it “was no easy matter for those courageous men, bold as kings, to carry the head away from the cliff” (pg.
Beowulf declares to his people: “This fight is not yours/ nor is it up to any man except me” (2532-33). Beowulf takes on full responsibility for the dragon because of his courage, which makes him fearless. Without this courage, the dragon would continue to destroy the town and kill the people and evil would be victorious. However, since Beowulf is around to step up to the fight, the people are saved even at the sacrifice of his own
Emerson has stated the basics for heroism, and Beowulf follows them effortlessly. One of the characteristics Emerson states is having self-trust and confidence. Beowulf shows his confidence when he says, “The foe I must grapple, fight for my life then,/Foeman with Foeman.” Grendel does not use weapons and kills with his bare hands, and Beowulf is stating that he’s confident enough to fight the same way. Another quality trait Emerson talks about would be bravery; Beowulf shows bravery when he tells Hrothgar that he has defeated many beasts before, and will do so again with Grendel. Beowulf is brave when fighting against evils, and shows no fear towards fighting.
Beowulf is similar to the Knights of the Round Table because like them Beowulf is loyal to his lord, and brave. He is also like Hercules because they both have inhuman strength and they do not back down from a fight. Although Beowulf is like these heroes he also has some differences. Beowulf is different from the Knights of the Round Table because they do not have all the strength that Beowulf has, and they do not fight such gruesome monsters instead they fight in battles and wars. Hercules is also different from Beowulf because unlike Beowulf Hercules lacks some of the wisdom and knowledge that Beowulf has, and he sometimes used his strength against
The main character is set apart from the other warriors because of his courage and humility. The story tells of many characters who faced the same circumstances as Beowulf, yet failed to respond in a similar and valiant effort, like Beowulf. For example, when facing the dragon nearly all of his hand picked soldiers coward in fear. Beowulf then showed humility by turning down his first offer to be king. When Hrothgar died, he offered Beowulf the throne; however, he refused, which allowed the rightful heir, Hrothgar’s son to be placed into power.