Before his battle with Grendel, Beowulf says, “My lord Higlac might think less of me if I let my sword go where my feet were afraid to, if I hid behind some broad linden shield: My hands alone shall fight for me, struggle for life against the monster. God must decide who will be given to death’s cold grip” (Raffel 24). By saying this Beowulf decided that using a weapon or some sort of protection would lead to an easy, unfair fight. This statement also shows Beowulf’s bravery in light of the fact that he is letting everything fall into the hands of fate and letting God decide who the victor will be at the end of the battle. Beowulf’s state of mind before going into battle with Grendel in the mead hall was that if Grendal would not be using a weapon than it what not be fair for him to use a weapon on Grendal.
Beowulf repaid Grendel with a visit in is cave, where he lay lifeless, and cut off his head. The movie on the other hand is more complex and makes Beowulf seem like a normal person, however a warrior of the finest kind. Grendel is not just a monster; he is a troll whose father was killed by Hrothgar when he was only a child. He was killed because he had crossed paths with the Danes and took a fish. Hrothgar was the only Dane to see the child and decided to spare his life.
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.
Compare with his encounter with the dragon. Beowulf treated Grendel as an equal by facing him his bare strength alone. “The prince of the Geats was putting his trust in his great strength and in God's favor. Off came the hero's iron mailcoat and hard helmet; he handed over his trusty sword to an attendant thane and asked him to safekeep all that war-gear (X)”. Beowulf’s confidence comes from his belief that he not matters how monstrous Grendel was, he isn’t invincible.
When he explains how the battle will be “hand-to-hand,” he gets extra praise and honor for Hygelic and himself because he turned the battle into a battle of strength and as a fight against darkness. The darkness is represented by Grendel and Goliath, these overpowering threatening outlaws determined to cause chaos. David and Beowulf both use physical strength instead of big weapons. In the end of Beowulf’s battle Beowulf cuts off Grendel’s arm enabling the part of Grendel that was able to hold a weapon. Beowulf dissembling Grendel’s arm was significant because Grendel’s arm represented a body part that allows one to hold things which is really important during a battle.
Since Grendel is going to fight without the use of weapons, Beowulf creates equality and therefore earns himself even more respect by doing the same. The less confident King Arthur on the other hand fights only with weapons. Once his wounds were amended his first thought was, "I have no sword," followed by the task of finding him one. This demonstrates Arthur's relative weakness in his dependence on weapons when held in comparison to Beowulf's willingness to fight a creature greater than himself with nothing but his bare hands. It is this that I feel best illustrates Beowulf's
Many had seen me come safe from the conflict.” (Raffel, 321-322) This quote also shows off Beowulf’s ego as he boasts his courage and might. When Beowulf made the decision to go fight Grendel and protect the people around him he did not do it for the reward he would receive if he was successful but instead to “put another notch in his belt,” so at the worst, Beowulf decided to fight Grendel to feed his ego, which does not hurt
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 .
People during the Anglo-Saxon period tried to boast of their powers while trying to have a sense of wisdom and lack of humility like Beowulf and we see that lack of humility before his fight with Grendel when he states “When it comes to fighting, I count myself as dangerous any day as Grendel. So it won’t be a cutting edge I’ll wield to mow him down, easily as I might” (677-680). Beowulf boast of his own abilities saying that he don’t need any weapons and he can fight with bare hands which shows lack of humility in him for Grendel. Anglo-Saxon belief that the memory of heroism is only available to an adventurer through his death, but a loss of humility can weaken a hero like we saw with Beowulf during his fight with Grendel’s mom when he must steal a blade from her wall because his own sword is useless. “Then he saw a blade that blooded well, a sword in her armoury, an ancient heirloom from the days of the giants, an ideal weapon, one that any warrior would envy” (1557-1560).
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.