If one is brave, they’re generally arrogant. Beowulf was very arrogant, in that he is constantly saying he’s the strongest man alive and that no man’s strength is a match for his. Being boastful is a strong suit of an epic hero. If one thinks or knows they can do something, it gives them the determination and drive it takes to get the job done. Beowulf brags about his many, many battles, even in his later years.
Beowulf and his people displays these virtues in his own actions and words during different circumstances throughout the tale. Beowulf was "the strongest of the Geats" and also "greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in this world". Beowulf is shown to be the strongest among the strong. Physical strength was very much envied by the Anglo-Saxon culture. Beowulf could slay the greatest monster of all, Grendel.
Beowulf depicts the traits of an ideal hero. He can be described as a fearless fighter with tremendous strength and an honorable man willing to risk it all. The strength of Beowulf is similar to the almighty power of thirty men. For example line 111 quoted, “And stronger than anyone anywhere in this world.” Beowulf was easily compared to superheroes only seen on TV! He is brave, and he has confidence bordering on absurdity.
It displays cultural ties between these early Anglo-Saxon periods; when glory in battle was of the up-most respect. From my interpretation, Beowulf is a poem on how one achieves ultimate glory through battle and reputation that appeals to most young warriors during the time known as geoguo. Beowulf comes to the aid of Hrothgar despite the infamous reputation of Grendel. Hrothgar knows Beowulf from his father and the rumour that he has great strength. However, these rumours gave him no real reputation and he would have to prove his accolades in his battle with Grendel.
All Anglo-Saxon heroic traits can be found not only in Beowulf or 13th Warrior, but also The Wanderer and The Dream of the Rood. The Anglos-Saxon hero is thought to be strong, intelligent, humble, kind, and courageous. The Hero is suppose to fight till death to honor their “tribe” or people they stand for. According to the Anglos, Ahmed shows many characteristics of the hero in the movie such as intelligence and showing courage during battle, but not all are heroic traits he displays are heroic to the Saxons. Reminding that Ahmed wasn’t trained to be a warrior but fits the ideal warrior best.
Through its exploration of various veins of philosophical thought, including nihilism and solipsism, Gardner’s work introduces alternatives and challenges to the practicality of heroism. The primary goal of the Anglo-Saxon warrior was to act in accordance with the heroic code and to hopefully perform an action worthy enough to be remembered throughout history, passed down from generation to generation within poetry. The code encompasses several values that men of this era were expected to observe: bravery in battle, loyalty to king and kinsmen, and selfless acts that could help to achieve a greater good. This code was paramount to these societies as a means of understanding their places in the world and the threats that hovered outside their established communities. All people’s moral judgments stemmed from the framework of the heroic code and heroic ideals; individual actions could be judged in a clear-cut manner as either conforming to or violating the code.
Beowulf portrays all of the traits of the perfect hero. The poem exemplifies his heroism in two separate phases: his youth and in his older age. There are three separate conflicts that increase in difficulty in which he proves himself victorious, the battles with: Grendel, Grendel’s mother and finally the dragon. Though these three brawls can be view as example of the definition of the word heroism, there is an even clearer line dividing Beowulf’s youthful fearlessness as an unregulated warrior and his mature responsibility driven demeanor as an older king. The two parts of his life, though separated by a great number of years, match to two different moral principles.
For our earlier generations – or I must say: the ancient generations - epic heroes were the protagonist of their stories, with their superhuman strength, intelligence, fighting skills, and courage, were claimed and appreciated by the crowds. An epic hero is different than our contemporary heroes. An epic hero cant fly, burn objects by just looking at them nor run at a supper speed; but, epic heroes like Beowulf are strong men, with no supper power at all that fight against evil (big and stronger enemies) letting us appreciate how brave epic heroes are. Beowulf is the perfect image of the archetypal epic hero in many ways such as performing brave deeds, he has superior or superhuman strength, and courage, and he risks death for glory or for the greater good of society. Beowulf, the prince of the Geats, show us by his actions a very important characteristic of the archetypal epic hero.
Anglo-Saxon society judges its individual’s behavior on specific values and morals. This society focuses on a strong sense of community and it treasures fame. The values of the Anglo-Saxon society are embodied by the brave, fearless and exemplary soldier, Beowulf. Beowulf is the protagonist in the epic poem, Beowulf. This character is brought upon conflicts and challenges by inhuman creatures that threaten his existence and the perseverance of his culture.
Beowulf was not only an Anglo-Saxon hero and a modern day hero, but also an epic hero. According to the dictionary an epic hero is a main character in an epic whose legendary or heroic actions are central to his/her culture, race, or nation. Beowulf embodied courage, loyalty, strength, and much more, attributes that were all valued by the Anglo-Saxon culture and are still valued in society today. Beowulf was never afraid to die, which shows us the courage within Beowulf. “Whichever one death fells must deem it a just judgment by God.