Beowulf As An Epic Hero Essay

1034 words - 5 pages

Every epic hero possesses certain heroic characteristics. Beowulf, like other epic heroes, possesses the following heroic qualities: epic heroes are superhuman types of beings. They have a noble birth and show great bravery. They display great intelligence and resourcefulness. They have a reverence for G-d and for the values of their society. They are dominant male figures and suffer severe pain, but in the end, they conquer evil (Vivone 9/27/99). In addition to Beowulf’s heroic qualities, he is very strong. Beowulf was said to have “the strength of thirty [men] in his mighty handgrip” (Bloom 11). Early proof of Beowulf’s extraordinary strength is evidenced by his dismemberment of Grendel’s ...view middle of the document...

Grendel has terrorized Herot for twelve years. Grendel attacks only one night; one time he grabs thirty people and takes “his slaughtered feast of men to his lair’ (Bloom 10). Grendel eats the flesh and blood of men and enters their houses by way of doors (Nicholson 74). Before Beowulf attempted to rid the land of Grendel, men tried to slaughter him, “but their points could not hurt him, the sharpest and hardest iron could not scratch at his skin” (48). Beowulf kills Grendel by first watching his attack. Beowulf grabs hold of Grendel’s claws and finally rips off his arm. In the morning, warriors look for the body of Grendel by following his bloody trail. They cannot find his body and turn back. Hrothgar’s men finally think that they no longer will be plagued with the presence of the monster and that now they can sleep in peace.
However, their sleep did not last long. During the night, Grendel’s mother came to avenge her son’s death. She enters the hall and grabs Aeschere and her son’s arm. Beowulf goes to follow her and swims for an entire day in her pool before he sees the bottom of the mere. When Beowulf descends into Grendel’s mere, he loses ground as the fight progresses. It is then assumed that Beowulf is fighting desperately for his life. Then, the water closed over him. It was “the space of a day,” before he could see the bottom of the mere (Burlin 121). The hero’s physical powers grow far beyond human dimensions. Beowulf is about to attempt to use a weapon although they were useless against her; “then he saw, hanging on the wall, a heavy sword...but so massive that no ordinary man could life its carved and decorated length” (72). Once he is in Grendel’s mother’s mere, Beowulf remains underwater for more than a day (Burlin 120). Finally, Beowulf kills Grendel’s mother, and her blood melts his sword (Bloom 16).
Thus far, Beowulf has killed two man-like monsters. Beowulf’s last battle with a dragon is the final substantial fantastic element in this epic...

Other Essays Like Beowulf As An Epic Hero

Beowulf Essay

924 words - 4 pages Beowulf, You're My Hero! An epic poem tells the victories of the hero. Beowulf, the hero in the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, exemplifies the heroic ideal through his acts of heroism. The pursuit of the heroic ideal is made up of three things: enduring fame, having no belief in an afterlife, and dying gloriously. The heroic ideal is also typified by wanting excellence, wanting to be the best, fighting, and showing skill and courage. When

Beowolf Essay

367 words - 2 pages The epic tale of Beowulf involves an ethical battle between good and evil. The story deals with Beowulf, an epic hero that has super physical strength. Beowulf was written in England sometime in the 18th century. "This provides us with an idea of a poem that was written during a time when the society had converted from paganism to Christianity"(Cohen 138). "We know that paganism did exist alongside Christianity during the approximate era that

Epic vs. Romance

610 words - 3 pages A hero can mean a variety of different things, such as a person with great courage, or someone with great values. The definition of a hero has progressed over time and means different things to different people. As the Anglo-Saxon era ended and the Middle Ages began Epic Heroes were harder to find, for they were near perfect, and Romance Heroes emerged as the less-than-perfect savior, but both still strove to defeat evil. An epic hero usually

Heroism in Beowulf

552 words - 3 pages strength, courage and sense of self-worth are all traits that gained him recognition as a hero. He stood up for his fellow man, even if the good deed wasn’t always returned. His humble pride and selfless attitude are virtues associated with very few men. In the distinguished epic Beowulf, the main character elucidates the true meaning of an Anglo-Saxon hero.

Who Knows

813 words - 4 pages The epic poem of Beowulf has many themes throughout it. . There are instances where the themes of dark versus light, self-identity, and tensions between value systems and doing what is right and what is wrong. However, most people would agree that the major and most running theme would be the many encounters of good versus evil in the poem. Good versus evil is most notably seen in the battles that Beowulf has with Grendel, Grendel’s mother

The Three Battles of Beowulf’s

1772 words - 8 pages many battles become legend. We first read of his battle with Grendel and how Beowulf triumphed. We then read of his battle with Grendel’s mother and how he turned an almost certain defeat into a victory. Lastly we read of Beowulf’s battle against the dragon where he meets his ultimate death. During his life time, Beowulf fought many battles. He was not only a hero to his people but he was also a hero to everybody in the world who had ever heard

Kaaaa!

422 words - 2 pages of honor should serve as an example for today's children. With honor comes pride, and with pride comes confidence. By teaching lessons of pride and confidence through an epic hero like Beowulf in a form that appeals to young children will make today's youth more likely to succeed in life. It is said that one can learn anything if he can find a way to relate to the material. Well here is a chance to teach our children strict moral values in a

Beo, the hero

1493 words - 6 pages Superman, Spiderman, and Batman are heroes! They possess the two traits that are needed in western civilization to be considered a hero: wisdom and fortitude. These modern heroes have wisdom and fortitude. Did Beowulf possess these traits? Beowulf shows he is a hero through both his wisdom and fortitude throughout his adventures. Beowulf is a great hero because he possesses both wisdom and fortitude. Wisdom is one of the traits of hero, but

Beowulf vs. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Formal Response

294 words - 2 pages story. In Beowulf, it is represented with Beowulf vs. Grendel; and in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, it is represented with Sir Gawain vs. the Green Knight. While fighting in these good vs. evil battles, at some point Beowulf and Sir Gawain call for their enemies at the mouth of a cave. In conclusion, we have found many similarities when comparing the stories. Not only alike in the way that both consist of a guest, an enemy, and a near-perfect hero; but Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight have certain qualities from the Seven Elements of Romance and of an epic hero.

Beowulf vs. the 13th Warrior

853 words - 4 pages Michael Crichton intertwined some aspects of Beowulf with his own thoughts to produce the drama, “The 13th Warrior.” Beowulf, written down by an unnamed Christian monk in the 8th century, served as a framework for the plot of “The 13th Warrior.” Beowulf and “The 13th Warrior” have many differences but the similarities that they share are more abundant through out the two pieces. Instead of doing a direct translation of Beowulf, the

The Epic Hero Archetype In Films, And Literature

902 words - 4 pages As Beowulf possessed incredible the strength of 30 men, Luke Skywalker the force, and Harry Potter magic, epic heroes continue in every form of today’s entertainment and storytelling. Every culture from the beginning has had their own tales of heroes accomplishing great feats that no one else could. An epic hero is an icon for everyone to relate to, they symbolize different lessons to learn. The epic hero archetype exists as a source of

Related Papers

Paradise Lost As An Epic Essay

1650 words - 7 pages Assignment Discuss Paradise lost as an epic Name: Cheshta Arora Roll no: 0443 The word epic is, in a strict sense used for works that incorporate following characteristics: a long verse narrative on a serious subject, told in a formal and elevated style, and centered on a heroic or quasi-divine figure on whose actions depends the fate of a tribe, a nation, or (in the instance of John Milton’s Paradise Lost ) the human race. The epic

"The Odyssey" By Homer An Epic Hero

538 words - 3 pages Odysseus as an Epic HeroIn the book The Odyssey by Homer, the main character, Odysseus, is depicted as being similar an epic hero. There is a question, though, as to whether or not he actually was an epic hero. I believe that, while he did have a major difference, he had more similarities than differences to the characteristics of an epic hero and therefore was one.An epic hero is someone who is strong, intelligent and bold. First of all, an

Kanthapura As An Gandhian Epic Essay

1707 words - 7 pages novelist of India in 1930s and 1940s. He had depicted his novels through the usage of Gandhian theme. Kanthapura is best example of how Gandhian ideologies influenced in Indian writing in English.    An Epic is a long narrative poem telling of heroic acts, the birth and death of a hero or of nation’s etc.Kanthapura is also an epic. Kanthapura is a tell of the impact that Gandhi had on the nation. He converted the whole nation into an army of

Almost One Of The Gods. "The Odyssey", By Homer. Essay Explains Why Odysseus Is To Be Considered An Epic Hero

423 words - 2 pages An epic hero is one who does not act irrationally and contemplates his actions and their implications. Odysseus, of Homer's The Odyssey, is an appropriate epic hero because he embodies the values of bravery, intelligence, astuteness, and competency. Numerous examples are found throughout The Odyssey. Such illustrations include Odysseus' conflict with the Cyclops, the Sirens, and Scylla and Charybdis.First, Odysseus proves that he is a mortal