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. However, Beowulf’s intentions on defending the Danes are deeper than his own reputation; in fact the heroic Geat was devoted to the king, because of an old past. Ecgtheow, Beowulf’s father had killed the leader of the Wulfings tribe
As the intriguing storyline of Beowulf heightens and progresses, the theme of pride is consistently portrayed. Primarily, the characteristic is shown through Beowulf, the book’s epic hero. Through various predicaments and events that occur within the book, obvious signs of Beowulf’s pride are revealed, both good and bad forms of it.
In the epic Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, Beowulf is depicted as a heroic figure who fights monsters and defends the weak. During its time, Beowulf would be considered a great hero, however in today 's standards Beowulf would only be considered a great warrior. That’s because a hero should value the lives of the people and not seek to be rewarded. Instead, Beowulf committed heroic acts for his own selfish reasons and never shows to values the lives of the people. From fighting Grendel to slaying the dragon, Beowulf only fought because he value the fame and fortune that comes along with those accomplishments.
The Anglo-Saxons were very dependant on their lord and they would show him their loyalty in various ways.There are several ways that define a hero, such as Beowulf, in this epic poem. A hero is not only loyal, but also unselfish, courageous, and shows his faithfulness. The next few paragraphs will show exactly how Beowulf is very much similar to an Anglo-Saxons and how he’s considered a hero.
Beowulf had done the unthinkable—he had killed a demon that no warrior of Denmark could have done. This opened several new doors for Beowulf, including one that promised of honor, glory, and riches. Beowulf had achieved his goal of fame, a goal which had created a poem of a hero that birthed and shaped a story to be told even years later. Furthermore, Beowulf’s fame was set in stone by Hrothgar, the king who owed Beowulf his everything, including his thanks. After giving Beowulf the speech to further glorify his prominence, Hrothgar declares, “Glory is now yours/ Forever and ever; your courage has earned it,/ And your strength” (953-956). Beowulf’s life had been remolded by his victory, building a story beyond his
Beowulf possessed the poised demeanor necessary to defeat all evils by the arrogant swing of his sword. The commitment shown by lending his life to the welfare of his people was imperative in order to be called a flawless warrior. Beowulf embodied the determination that Anglo-Saxons saw as unmeasurably valuable. If nothing more than just fiction, Beowulf is the ideal hero of the people from who he originated. “They said that of all the kings upon the earth he was the man most gracious and fair-minded, kindest to his people and keenest to win fame.” (Heaney
Heroism is portrayed in the text through courage and syntax, which affects the way the reader perceives the story. In the poem Beowulf utters, “I shall fight like that for as long as I live, as long as this sword shall last, which had stood me in good stead late and soon, ever since I killed Dayraven the Frank in the front of the two armies” (2498). This leads the audience to read it faster and puts more emphasis on the message that the text is trying to convey. Heroism is portrayed here because Beowulf is willing to go to extreme measures for his men and his country, making the values of an Anglo-Saxon warrior crucial to a king.
Beowulf shows many characteristic of how he is an epic hero in this poem. He also shows struggle and bravery through everything he does to help the people around him. He may have died in the end but everyone knew that he was a hero by defeating Grendel and his mother. He lived in a hostile world and he fought to make it, but he could not
He has true honor and respectfully distributes treasure and gifts to those whom he believes rightfully deserves them. Beowulf’s loyalty to the Danes helps shed light on his true character. He expresses that he believes he may die in battle between Grendel, but that does not dissuade him from fighting the beast. Another example is when Hygelac dies, Beowulf is asked to take the throne. In doing so, that would mean the the son of Hygelac would be stripped of his own inheritance, which is dishonorable in Beowulf’s eyes, and thus he declines the offer. The continued honor shown in Beowulf’s character shines through when Beowulf never mentions that Unferth’s trusted sword was no match for Grendel’s mother. Beowulf could have simply boasted how the sword was useless and ineffective against the female beast, yet he was silent out of respect for Unferth. Finally, during Beowulf’s time as ruler (fifty winters), another beast arrives: a dragon. This time, Beowulf is much older and is in a much weaker state than when he first defeated Grendel and his mother. However, that does not deter Beowulf from going out and defending his kingdom. This scene is relevant due to its differing plot from the other two slayings. During the killing of Grendel, Beowulf tears off his arm and ultimately destroys the wretched monster alone and without frivolous weapons. When the duel between Grendel’s mother arises, Beowulf
“...So massive no ordinary man could lift its carved and decorated length. He drew it from its scabbard, broke the chain on its hilt, and then, savage, now, angry and desperate, lifted it high over his head and struck with all the strength he had left, caught her in the neck and cut it through, broke bones and all….” Pg72. With ancient understandings and tales in the early times, Beowulf sings of times long forgotten, the times where the only tombs men sought was the battlefield, and their legacies, glory from the most extraordinary of feats. Eras filled with monsters, demons and selfless devotion towards the Glory of God.
Christopher Reeves once said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” Although Beowulf was human, he was not an ordinary individual, hero, or king, for he was a man who displayed superhuman qualities in his efforts to protect the Danish and Geatish people. Beowulf, who was established Geatish warrior that spent his life in battle, showed these extraordinary characteristics that made him an epic hero, one who possesses superhuman, almost god-like qualities. Being constantly on a quest, risking his life for glory and the greater good of society, and being superiorly intelligent, courageous and strong are the three most important reasons why Beowulf deserves such a notable
In conclusion, Beowulf was a hero, even though he died, he was willing to sacrifice his life for his comrades. He showed his strength with every decision he made. He detached Grendel’s arm from his body, slayed Grendel’s mother with a sword and died fighting the dragon. He is brave because he didn’t back out of any of these battles, and he had the courage even though he was a little unsteady of the demons he helped the people of Denmark. He died saving everyone in Denmark from the horrific demons who lurked about. Three evil monsters
Throughout the history of mankind there have been many books and stories written which preview a hero doing dangerous, epic deeds for the good of others. The same is true in the story of Beowulf, titled Beowulf. Beowulf was written by the Anglo Saxons by an unknown author. In the book Beowulf, Beowulf follows the role of the archetypal hero and fulfills it by going on epic quests to help, and save kingdoms. This is shown whenever Beowulf sets out to fight Grendel, an awful beast who is terrorizing Hrothgar’s kingdom. This is also shown whenever Beowulf ventures out to slay Grendel’s mother. And ultimately whenever Beowulf goes to fight the dragon in his final showdown. All of these pertain to Beowulf fulfilling the role of the hero in Beowulf.
Beowulf was honorable throughout this epic story. Beowulf was strong, smart, one whom the town was looked up to. When he killed Grendal, the townsfolk were happy and relieved.
The tale of Beowulf is one of the most established cases of what society sees as a hero. In spite of the fact that the story was composed in Anglo-Saxon circumstances, the accreditations one would require so to be considered by society a legend continue as before. The Anglo-Saxons believed that a hero was brave and bold, however modest and kind also. They likewise trusted that a legend was astute and noble, in which he would battle until death with a specific end goal to guard his people. Beowulf is portrayed as minding, humane, honorable, and understanding, which makes him appear as though he had each attribute of a genuine