Although loyalty and liberality elevate a warrior’s quality throughout Beowulf, there are many absences of the two values in the poem. In the beginning, the narrator mentions the evil beast, Grendel who was kin to Cain (man who kills his own kin Abel in biblical terms) that only wreaks havoc on people and shows no signs of peace: “Suddenly then / the God-cursed brute was creating havoc: / greedy and grim, he grabbed [grabs] thirty men / from their resting places and rushed [rushes] to his lair…” (Beowulf 120-23). Here, the description of Grendel’s actions show a great example of the lack of both loyalty and liberality. At night time, the “God-cursed” monster silently sneaks up on these defenseless warriors while they sleep and takes their lives for no apparent reason.
Joseph Campbell defines a hero as “someone who has given his life to something bigger than himself.” In the epic poem, Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney and the novel Harry Potter and the Source’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, both follow The 17 Stages of Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth. Beowulf and Harry Potter prove they are heroes and fit into Campbell’s pattern because of their bravery, perseverance and courage throughout each story. In Beowulf, the main character Beowulf, demonstrates courage throughout the poem and Campbell’s Monomyth helps prove his heroic journey.
Heros have courage. The courage of heroes is seen many times throughout Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales. Courage is a hard trait to describe, but it is even harder to actually have true courage. Beowulf certainly shows courage throughout the book, and he is the hero of the book. One such example of him showing courage
"The Medieval Romance Tales of King Arthur and his Brave Knights" The tales of King Arthur are undoubtedly some of the best-known romances of the Middle Ages. A romance is a long, medieval narrative in prose or verse telling of the adventures of chivalric heroes. By definition, the 2004 King Arthur film classifies as a romance. King Arthur demonstrates all the key elements essential to a romance by telling of a hero 's adventures along with all the trials and self-knowledge that comes with them.
An example of them fighting differently is when Beowulf kills Grendel with no armor or weapon. When Gilgamesh battles Humbaba he uses an axe to end his life. While Beowulf uses brute strength, Gilgamesh takes a more cautious approach. I do think that both men are brave for fighting such horrible monsters. When killing the monsters Beowulf and Gilgamesh have two very different reasons.
Comparison can be made between Ahab and the monster in Frankenstein on the basis of revenge that the monster wanted to take from Victor. Victor lost all the power over his creation when the monster killed William. Frankenstein immediately felt responsible for the crime because he never made his creation to go around and kill people. After destroying the work of second creature, the monster threaten Victor saying that, “Remember that I have power; you believe yourself miserable, but I can make you so wretched that the light of day will be hateful to you. You are my creator, but I am your master;—obey!”
The reason for his terror is his loneliness, jealousy, and being an outcast. For Beowulf, the news of Grendel is hard to ignore, so he comes to Heorot to kill Grendel. Foster, an expert on all things literature says, “... Someone tells our protagonist, our hero, who need not look very heroic, to go somewhere and do something” (Foster 3). As soon as Beowulf hears about the thirty men that Grendel killed and the abandoned mead hall, he makes it his mission to kill the evil monster.
In M.A Roberts’ Beowulf the story of a great hero, Beowulf, is told. The story follows Beowulf as he goes from being a warrior, simply trying to pay off a man-debt, to becoming a king who is later forced to return to battle for a final time. He was truly qualified as a hero being that he was characterized as both abnormally strong and courageous. However, the main reason he is characterized as a hero is due to his story, similar to other epic heroes Beowulf is no different and had to endure the hero cycle containing flaw, restitution, and resurrection.
Beowulf’s Courage Makes an Epic Hero A good example of an epic hero is from the epic poem Beowulf, written by Seamus Heaney, focusing on the titular character Beowulf because he is known for his courage which is used to create more characteristics that an epic hero should have. The best place to start is with an example of Beowulf valuing his courage, where Jones reminds the reader “Beowulf himself speaks to this importance of courage when arguing with Unferth” (Jones 3). Another good example is in the packet The Middle Ages: The Epic Hero, where Jones states that an epic hero “has 12 main characteristics, including being strong, courageous, and self-sacrificing” (Jones 2).
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.
Grendel vs. “The monster” Grendel in the novel by John Gardner is very similar to “the monster” in Frankenstein by Mary Shelly because both Grendel and the monster feel like outsiders, they kill humans, and they both are able to learn new things. Grendel feels like an outsider because he knows he is different and he wants to know the truth of why he is what he is and why God made him that way. Grendel asks his mother “Why are we here?” which means that he is doubting his existence. Grendel kills humans in the mead hall while they are asleep.
Heroes are a rare and amazing phenomenon. Two heroes that stand out in literature are Beowulf and Achilles. Beowulf is a Herot who is a selfless, even tempered, fate fighting warriors who saves his kingdom numerous times from threats, such as monsters and enemies. Achilles is a Greek, selfish warriors in Greece but has a hot temper and is often unforgiving. Achilles wants to help take the kingdom of Troy, but doesn’t agree with the war.
Grendel is a human-eating devious creature that seeks revenge on the Danes. Throughout the story Beowulf by Tom Shippey, Grendel is known as a very dangerous creature. Many people see him as a threat and they are very scared of him. Every night he seeks revenge on the Danes for the misery they have put him through his whole life. When Beowulf comes in to be a hero and save the day tells told Hrothgar “That I, alone and with the help of my men, May purge all evil from this hall” (165-167).
Many time we are asked why we do the things we do. What is our motivation for the things we do? Does someone tell us it do it or do we do it because it’s fun? You can find motivation in many strange and different things. Motivation can be derived from family or friends, personal interest, and even conflict.
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.