He is the archetypal hero. And not only does he fight for good, but he represents it as well. For Beowulf to signify good there must be a contrasting evil to complete the balance. Beowulf, who comes to help the Danes fight the dreaded Grendal. Beowulf is a classic epic hero and is honored by being passed down in the story.
Although the Scyldings may not know who Ecgtheow is, they are still influenced by the fact that Beowulf is a son of some powerful and famous man. Adding onto his already boastful statement, Beowulf says that he can show Hrothgar a way to deafeat his enemy (Page 21). This helps assure the Scyldings of Beowulf’s power and allows him to enter the Danes’ territory. In Beowulf, boasting is a way to make a promise to another. Listeners are persuaded to believe that the boaster is reliable due to his confidence
“Beowulf” is an old English heroic poem written in the Anglo-Saxon Era. While the battles of Beowulf were mesmerizing, the concept of defending the civilians throughout the whole poem was self- evident. Even so, the poem contains many types of archetypes; situational, character and symbolic. Beowulf hears the monstrous acts of Grendel and sets forward towards a quest to conquer the wild beast. “ So Beowulf chose the mightiest men he could find, the bravest and best of the Geats… he knew the sea, would point the prow straight to that distant Danish Shore” ( L.120-124).
In Beowulf the main character comes in very humble and becomes a national hero and savior. Along with this both characters express gifts that can only be described as God given. Beowulf uses his gift to help others and keep people safe and out of harm. Odysseus uses his gift to better himself and get things that he wants for himself rather than the people. Both stories have a long and heroic journey involved, but throughout the journey Beowulf is doing it for the good of people, Odysseus is doing for the good of himself.
These poems and epic tales that depict them as heroes, but whose values would make the world a better place today? Beowulf is selfless and believes in the greater good for the populous as a whole. Achilles is selfish and believes in what is best for him and the people that he cares about. Today’s society is massively larger in scale to societies depicted in these tales. While a common goal to achieve what is best for the whole is great for a government, it would be near impossible for the hero, or one person, to achieve this.
Beowulf the character is a timeless example of heroism due to his physical strength, bravery, and determination. For example, Beowulf boasts about his physical strength to the “Danes’ / Great king,” who have “watched [him] rise from the darkness of war, / Dripping with [his] enemies’ blood” (416-419). Clearly from reading these lines, the readers can infer that Beowulf is trying to boast his physical strength. This quote is also significant because Beowulf first refers to his physical strength. In other words, there are many other heroic aspects to his character that he could’ve used instead of his physical strength.
Loyalty, one of the main themes throughout Beowulf, is an important aspect of the Germanic culture. Loyalty in the Heroic Code is a bond between the king and his warriors; loyalty to the king is first above all, even family in this text. If the warriors lack the loyalty for their king, the urge to protect their king and tribe is diminished. Beowulf’s king, Hygelac, gave him permission to help the Danish king and his people. Beowulf exerts his loyalty to Hrothgar by protecting the king’s people, and killing Grendel.
Later authors, such as Amelia Josephine Burr, emphasize that King Arthur was a noble leader who did what was best for his people. In the early versions of the legend of King Arthur, authors such as Chrétien De Troyes assert that Arthur’s personal conduct overshadowed everything, whereas authors in later periods, such as Amelia Joseph Burr, assert that King Arthur’s achievements are what make him chivalrous. Writers such as De Troyes deemed that a leader’s actions reflect in his followers, whereas Bishop believes a leader is someone who protects the interests of his people. In Chrétien De Troyes’ poem, “Yvain, the Knight of Lion,” De Troyes describes an incident where King Arthur, while at his court, suddenly left everyone in the court and ran to Queen Guinevere. De Troyes also mentions that the knights of the Round Table have not been following the Code of Chivalry, which reflects poorly on Arthur’s leadership.
In this epic poem, the hero, Beowulf, travels from his homeland to Denmark to save a kingdom from an awful beast that has been attacking men late at night for over twelve years. Accompanying Beowulf is a book told from the monster's perspective titled Grendel by John Gardner. A consistent theme throughout Beowulf and Grendel is the utilization of the heroic code, which strongly values courage, loyalty, honor and strength - all of which Beowulf demonstrates in his
Lastly, Beowulf displays the heroic characteristic of loyalty. Everything Beowulf does is fueled by loyalty. In the beginning of the story, Beowulf displays his first act of loyalty as he leaves his homeland to sail to the home of the Danes to help face Grendel. Beowulf also shows loyalty to his father. King Hrothgar had once helped Beowulf’s father, by helping Hrothgar in his time of crisis, Beowulf is able to demonstrate his loyalty to his father and by paying back the
The author uses Beowulf to exemplify numerous themes within the poem. Beowulf is described as having “strong wrists” a “broad chest” and being perceived by others as “honest and open” . Through this description the reader is able to gain knowledge of the stereotypical hero during this time period. The beginning of the poem describes the idea of kingship coming into society by introducing the character King Hrothgar, King of the Danes. Similar yet somewhat different than Beowulf, Hrothgar is represented as “bold and fierce” with “a backbone that would bend to no man” .