Beowulf Essay

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The Epic Hero Beowulf Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic poem in the English language. The poem’s main character or epic hero is Beowulf. Beowulf qualifies as an epic hero because he demonstrates the following characteristics: courage, single-mindedness, and commitment to a higher ideal. All of these characteristics come up in both his battles, and in his daily life In the beginning of the story, the monster Grendel murders 30 men in Heorot, the place where the Geats drink mead. Also, when Grendel doesn’t accept any peace offering to stop the murders, Heorot is left empty for 12 years. Since Beowulf is a courageous warrior, he agrees to go into battle with Grendel. Later on, when Grendel’s Mother wants to avenge her son’s death, Beowulf courageously jumps into the burning lake to go to fight her. Finally, when Beowulf goes to fight the dragon, he says, “I mean not run from his shooting flames,” (Lines 620-621) this quote shows he is not afraid to fight the dragon no matter what is in the way. Beowulf was an epic hero who was sharply focused on his goals; he was not easily distracted either. Beowulf displays his single-mindedness first when he sneaks up on Grendel, right after Grendel kills one of his men. He also shows he will net nothing get in the way of his job, when he ignores the burning water to get to Grendel’s Mother. Even when it may seem like it is impossible to continue, Beowulf is commitment to reach his goals, such as when his sword cracks against the dragon, and Beowulf continues to fight. Beowulf’s commitment to a higher ideal made him not only a great hero, but also a dedicated one. In Beowulf’s time, people believed in wyrd or “fate.” Being courageous and single-minded, Beowulf was accepting of this higher ideal of fate. He believed it was his duty to fight Grendel, and his mother. Also among Beowulf’s commitments was his lord. When he

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