Questions of Honor: Beowulf Beowulf’s honor and integrity can be questioned throughout the entirety of the epic poem, Beowulf. Whether or not his actions are inspired by his own pompous arrogance or confidence, one can argue that he is a hero nonetheless. Evidence and experience prove that Beowulf is more of a fearless hero than an excessively prideful man, and his hubris is more than justified due to the formidable duties he is able to execute. Throughout the poem, Beowulf expresses his intense strength and courage to the fearful people in the poem. His daring sense of self-assurance is backed by his victories against all three monsters, (even though he suffers a tragic death after facing the dragon, it is a defeat nonetheless).
They both go through the “Hero’s Journey,” and display many characteristics of a hero. Beowulf, however, better fits the qualities of an epic hero due to his unselfish personality, his fearlessness, and his nobility. One reason Beowulf is the better epic hero is because his intentions and motives were selfless. He always fought to save the people, not for glory or treasures.
Beowulf declares that he “drove five great giants into chains, [and] chased all of that race from the Earth.” He is immensely overbearing at that point because he is too proud of his achievements. Being excessively prideful does not exactly label Beowulf as a hero. Beowulf assumes all of the courageous acts he fulfills will make him
Beowulf The Anglo-Saxon Hero A typical hero is someone who is known to be very powerful and have unusual traits that no human being can withstand. They use their powers as an advantage to fight any crime and to protect humans from the bad. However, a hero can be characterized in two different ways; an epic hero or an Anglo-Saxon hero.
Beowulf instead praises up for God and regrets about missing Grendel’s death (Beowulf 471-484). Beowulf’s loyalty makes him humble and being a real hero of Dane. This Beowulf’s trait also fits adequately to Anglo-Saxon’s hero archetype as
After Gawain comes clean and acknowledges his sin, the Green Knight praises him for being an honorable and chivalrous knight. He then invites Gawain to a great feast, but Gawain humbly states that he must return to his duties and continue to defend and protect King Arthur and his subjects. Sir Gawain even thanks the Green Knight and wishes him well after this frightening test of honor. He says, "I've reveled too well already; but fortune be with you; May He who gives all honors honor you well," (401-402).
This is important,because this reveals that Odysseus is an epic leader, because he does what he has to do as an epic leader, and if anything goes wrong it would be his men’s fault. The indicated statement distinguishes Odysseus’ men, being ordinary people from Odysseus being a hero. The trait of leadership is where Odysseus surpasses most heroes and thus proving that he meets the standards of a stereotypical epic hero. In conclusion, Odysseus is an epic hero, because his heroic capabilities and traits such as intelligence and perseverance cancel out his vulnerabilities. He is clearly differentiated and recognized between ordinary men and heroes.
Epic Beowulf praise courageous warrior hero Beowulf, praising his responsibility and sense of honor things are more important than life, hero defying hardship, overcome all difficulties, killed the monster, is the embodiment of justice, civilization and brave. Because the hero's sense of mission, Beowulf for the tragic fate of the upcoming brave fight, he went to kill dragon is a slippery slope, but the hero's sense of mission and sense of responsibility that he still chose this road. This epic to digest, reality and myth to shape Beowulf into one of the most ideal hero, kindness, justice, brave, fearless, in both human nature and the reality of the heroic struggle before the plot violence, and in front of fate, human beings cannot fight side
He won the battle not because of superior odds, but as a result of the speech that invigorated a true fighting spirit of his men. A peasant with nothing to live for and no will to fight will not perform nearly as well as a man filled with dignity and honor. King Henry made all of his comrades feel as though they weren’t anything, but dignified warriors. His speech was able to compose this great of an impact with his speech with reason that his words are backed up by his past actions. A marvelous king can rule righteously, a great king can also love and be loved by his
He was very widely known and “brought honor to his village (Achebe 3)”, along with proving himself as an outstanding warrior. Unfortunately, Okonkwo showed that “his fame rested on solid personal achievements (Achebe 3)”. He definitely struggled with the thought of his personal failure and this seemed to have gotten in the way of being a successful hero to avoid tragedy. In addition to my above paragraph, Okonkwo’s anger was an obstacle for success causing travesty in succcess. “He was a man of action and war (Achebe 10).”
The authors use of the hero tradition is contradicted when we get a glimpse of Beowulf’s arrogance. During the final battle as Beowulf said his goodbyes to his followers, he humbly reassured them, “fate decides which of [them] wins,” showing now sound of arrogance (666-667). Beowulf is living up to the “hero” expectation in the citizens’ eyes; he is being selfless for this kingdom. However this role is not applicable for him just yet. His humility, that the other characterized for him, is overlooked as he states, “this dragon’s treasure, his gold and everything hidden in that tower will be mine,” showing his true intentions.
Although Beowulf has superhuman strength, his warriors respect him as a superb leader. Beowulf’s leadership skills are shown while experiencing the fight with Grendel. However, instead of letting his warriors fight Grendel themselves, Beowulf leads them to Grendel and fights with them, even if he defeats Grendel alone. Afterwards, the Danish king Hrothgar, gifts Beowulf treasures, in which Beowulf credits his warriors instead of taking the gifts all for himself by speaking “of his comrades and credits them for having the wisdom of the group. He continues by describing heroic, yet bloody battles, in which he himself is the victor.
Glory exists today as a more muted idea, something usually not strived for but gained along with winning and success. However, in Anglo-Saxon culture many centuries ago, glory to them was a concept that was a bigger-than-life sort of deal. Glory today is not often something many people die for, though the same could not have been said for the Anglo-Saxons. For some warriors, it was the sheer force of glory that acted as the core of their determination, their reason for existing; their motivations lingering around the idea of existing even in death, as their name would live on. In the poem Beowulf, a warrior had the opportunity to gain the utmost of glory.
I think Beowulf, is a better fit for mordern times becausehe does not put his pride in the way of what is important. Beowulf may be self- centered and very boastful, but he often thinks of others in their time of need. His character proves strength; to me this categorizes him as a great warrior. Beowulf shows fairness, strength, selflessness, and kindness, all which I believe is very important to the development of the current society. Beowulf’s character has a very strong influence on the Anglo-Saxon period, which is why I think Beowulf is a good fit for the twenty-first century.