Why Is Beowulf An Epic Hero

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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…show more content…
This is seen multiple times throughout the poem beginning with his quest to kill Grendel. Beowulf personally sought out permission from Hrothgar to help the Danish people. Beowulf was able to help the suffering community; furthermore, he had a chance to receive great recognition for his actions. After defeating Grendel, Beowulf was given the opportunity to receive more glory and once again help Heorot by taking the life of Grendel’s mother. This was an extremely dangerous challenge because he knew her capabilities. Beowulf risked his life twice to help the community of Heorot become safe again and with that received ultimate praise. For a last time Beowulf risked his life to save his own community who were his citizens as king. He conquered a powerful dragon that fatally injured him as well. Beowulf knew his life was at stake yet persevered for the sake of his…show more content…
Near the end of his life as a king, Beowulf found that his citizens were being terrorized by a dragon. Although he was old and grizzled, the king took it on in battle. He showed tremendous courage even when knowing the odds were not in his favor. Previously, during his time in Denmark, Beowulf killed Grendel’s mother with the sword made for a giant. This showed his superhuman strength because as an ordinary human being Beowulf was able to handle and control the giant’s sword. In an earlier battle, Beowulf was able to once again exhibit his enormous strength by single handedly tearing off the arm of an enemy giant, Grendel. Lastly, before all of the battles, Beowulf displays his extreme intelligence. After being unjustly embarrassed by Unferth, Beowulf decided to reply in a civil manner. In his reply, he accurately refuted all of Unferth’s claims and turns the embarrassment on him. By responding cordially, he was able to dissolve any potential tension between the Geats and Danes.
Given this evidence, it is clear that Beowulf deserves to be labeled as an epic hero. He consistently and evidently displayed multiple characteristics of an epic hero. Beowulf was always on a quest, continously risked his life for glory and the greater good of society, and had superior intelligence, strength, and courage which were the three most crucial reasons that created him to be

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