Is Beowulf a Hero? The poem Beowulf, tells of great the great undertakings of Beowulf, a man who has defeated many ruthless monsters and seeks fame and glory. If we take Beowulf and compare him to the Anglo-Saxon ideal hero, Beowulf fills all the necessary requirements but, when compared to modern day standards, Beowulf doesn’t quite make the cut. In the modern day, selflessness is the ideal. It is evident from the beginning of the poem that Beowulf is meant to be the hero.
The very first lines of the epic tale show the importance of courage. Beowulf’s courage is displayed by the first time he appears when he is introduced as “the man whose name was known for courage” (340-341). Beowulf had to cross the sea to defeat Grendel, who was considered one of the “reavers from hell” (162). When he fights Grendel he is not afraid in any way. It was clear that “Grendel would have killed more if wise God and man 's courage had not forestalled that fate” (Verney, 27).
A hero’s purpose is to sacrifice his life while trying to aid others. Beowulf sees this as an opportunity to make himself be known; he believes those who have fought should be remembered through time. Throughout Beowulf’s heroic journey, he fought for a loyal cause, he followed the code of honor, and showed courageous bravery. From time to time, Beowulf always showed that he cared for everyone other than himself. When Beowulf hears that the king needed aid to help defeat grendel, he never second guessed his decision.
Some examples are, Beowulf Slaying Grendel and Grendel's mother to save the land of the Danes, and soldiers fighting enemies that threaten the lives of a country, and police officers putting criminals behind bars. Both Beowulf and modern day heroes risk their life for the good of others and are held to a high regard. "Nor have I seen a mightier man-at-arms on this earth than the one standing here: unless I am mistaken, is truly noble. This is no mere hanger-on in a hero's armor”. Beowulf was a considered an epic hero because he did great deeds and was of high importance.
Beowulf from Beowulf has very few things about him that are not chivalrous. His character exemplifies the Germanic hero and the Anglo-Saxon ideal of being strong, fearless, bold and loyal. One example of Beowulf being a chivalrous warrior is his bravery and courage. The evil demon Grendel has been terrorizing Herot for the past 12 years, so Beowulf wants to try and defeat him. When he arrives in Denmark Wulfgar greets him by saying “My lord, the great king of the Danes, commands me to tell you that he knows of your noble birth and that having come bravely and are welcome.” (Beowulf 126).
Since his father’s death, Hamlet begins to confide in Horatio because of his need for a father figure. Hamlet has such faith in Horatio that he leaves him with one last request: to tell his story. The close bond between the two makes this possible because, being the one man who knows everything that happened, Horatio is the only one who can tell the story. The confidence Hamlet has in Horatio, even after death, is something only a father could have. The deep care the two have for each other is significantly proven in the final moments of Hamlet’s life.
Wulfgar stated in the poem “ That having come to him from over the open sea you have come bravely and are welcome (129-130). Beowulf was a very brave person he shown it in his battle with the Grendel. He even quotes: “Now Grendel and I are called together, and I’ve come “(159-160). “When he was battling the Grendel’s ferocious mother. The mighty water witch, and swung his sword, his ring-marked blade, straight at her head; the iron sang its fierce song, sang Beowulf’s strength” (475-478).
In Beowulf, Beowulf must undergo three main trials in order to fulfill his destiny. Before Beowulf begins his quest, the unknown author drafts Beowulf as a hero whom the people of Geatland acknowledge and look up to. For example, as Beowulf recruited able warriors and prepared to set out to Denmark to save Hrothgar’s people from Grendel, no elder denied his plan. The elders’ respect for Beowulf, demonstrates his influence in society. In his past, Beowulf stated he, “Battled and bound five beasts,/ raided a troll-nest and in the night-sea/ slaughtered sea-brutes” (lns.
5, 8, 10, 14 & 16). Claudius’ character, revealed in Hamlet, shows how evil rulers will go to great lengths by using deceptive and manipulative ways to obtain and retain power at all costs. Claudius is thought of as a good king at the beginning of the play because of his great speeches makes to Denmark. All of the information stated in his speeches makes it seem that he cares about the people and wants what’s best for them. He makes known his concern for Denmark
"But Beowulf refused to rule when his Lord's own son was alive." "He gave Herdred all his support, offering an open heart where Higlac's young son could see wisdom he still lacked himself: warmth and goodwill were what Beowulf brought his new king." This shows Beowulf's loyalty to Higlac his late King, and to his family. Beowulf would not be dishonorable by taking what wasn't rightfully his; he would rather stand by Higlac's son and teach him all he knows. Beowulf is the hero to his King's son and country, by staying loyal and having honor.