Anglo-Saxon Hero Essay

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Anglo-Saxon Hero Essay There are many characteristics that embody the Anglo-Saxon value system, but there is one that stands out more than the rest, an epic hero trait. A character that perfectly exemplifies the epic hero trait from the Anglo-Saxon time period is Beowulf. Beowulf comes from high social status, he goes on a journey, embodies the ideas of his culture, achieves fame to the benefit of his people and lastly he has larger than life abilities. The poem explores Beowulfs heroism in two separate phases,youth and age and through three separate and increasingly difficult conflicts with Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. The battle with Grendel was very important, Beowulf was helping all of his people because Grendel was killing all the citizens. The battle between Beowulf and grendel was intense and crucial. “Grendel saw that his strength was deserting him, his claws bound fast, Higlac's brave follower teaching at his hands. The monsters hatred rose higher, but his power had gone. He twisted in pain, and the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder snapped, muscle and bone split and broke, The battle was over, Beowulf had been granted new glory.”(“Beowulf” 54, ll.370-379). Grendel was dead and Beowulf was the victor, Beowulf continued his importance as an epic hero. Now that Beowulf had killed Grendel, Grendel's mother was out to go and kill Beowulf. Beowulf did not like that and he went to go hunt and kill Grendel's mother so he would not be killed. “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. Her body fell to the floor, lifeless, the sword was wet with her blood, and Beowulf rejoiced at the sight”(57,l l. 489-497). Beowulf yet again shows epic hero

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