Shield was considered a king, as he was able to rampage through his foes, and was paid tribute those that lost. Though Grendel was described as a monster, he too has killed people, but was not viewed as good. Beowulf, the protagonist, is the “hero” of the story for having great power and looked up to by others. The idea of a monster, king, and hero are similar in different because of their power, and motivation. The first character to be introduced in Beowulf was Shield Sheafson.
In the epic, we see examples of Beowulf glorifying himself in the path of righteousness. He is portrayed as being the hero while Grendel is the monster needed to be slain. Good cannot be present without evil. How do you determine who fills each role? We must remind ourselves that there are two sides to every story.
1-2). Specifying Grendel as a monster immediately alerts the reader that he is an outcast of the society, evil, and threatening. Of course, Beowulf is seen as a hero who brings hope and wisdom to both the Danes and Geats. “ Danes and visiting Geats celebrated as one, drank and rejoiced” ( L.231-232). Furthermore, Beowulf rejoiced the people typically what a hero can be seen doing.
Many characters in Grendel define themselves throughout the book. Beowulf spends time glorify his name. Unferth and Beowulf labeled with hero status. Wealtheow spread positivity and displayed her selfishness. The shaper used his imagination to believe in a higher power; on the other hand, the dragon believed in nihilism.
By analyzing the traits that Beowulf shows, we can see what kind of person the Anglo-Saxons considered to be a hero. Beowulf is a very heroic character, with few flaws that are revealed until the end of the story. He is exceedingly strong, and this is shown in many ways. He possessed the raw strength needed to rip Grendel’s arm off barehanded. Grendel was a powerful monster capable of killing dozens of men in a single night and known as a horrible creature, yet its strength completely failed when faced with Beowulf.
Although Beowulf shows traits of abnormal power, like Grendel and his mother, his motifs are interpreted differently. Grendel and his mother are represented as monsters, through their physical appearance, as well as their horrific killings. The monstrosity of Grendel is directly seen through his physical appearance, as depicted when his hand is exposed in the hall as a trophy, after he was injured during his battle with Beowulf. During this scene, the beastly appearance
Beowulf’s confidence comes from his belief that he not matters how monstrous Grendel was, he isn’t invincible. Whereas, Beowulf’s encounter with the dragon. He knows that the dragon was truly a monster without any human characteristics. Whereas, Grendel possess human characteristics such as a human form and share mutual values such as a place to meet, meadhall. Grendel simply represent an alternative darker side of humanity, which is reflected in his underwater sea cave.
As an example of some of their similarities, both Grendel and Beowulf are preceded by tales of their great strength and power. Beowulf, as a great hero with a great history, is known for his “awesome strength” (418). Yet Grendel, too, possesses an air of legend: Beowulf acknowledges that the “news of Grendel” is “hard to ignore” (408-409). Beowulf, when speaking of Grendel, even adopts a scop-like formula as he speaks, saying, “I have heard...” (433). Beowulf undoubtedly has his own scop, who manifests himself as the narrator of this tale.
One of these monsters is Grendel, who is a demon attacking King Hrothgar’s land and killing his subjects. Beowulf kills Grendel with his bare hands, and then the monster’s wicked mother, in revenge, attacks our hero, but Beowulf kills her. Towards the end of the epic, he is king of his own land, and he must attack a dragon. He wounds it, but Beowulf is slain in the fight and a monument is raised in this name. Some interpreters have seen it as Christian story.
The traits that build up a perfect hero are all described in the acts of an epic poem called Beowulf . This poem set its lights on the character called Beowulf , who is a hero from the tribe called Geats . With his exceptional characteristics , he vanquished the enemy of the Danes called Grendel , as well as Grendel's mother , and a fire-breathing dragon . One of the most essential attributes a hero should have is honesty , which is the act of being truthful or sincere towards people . Beowulf proved the existence of that trait in his personality when he stated all the battles he conquered to King Hrothgar in the time of volunteering to kill Grendel .