Beowulf A Character Analysis

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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. Much of the moral expression within the story centers on the difference between the two models and on showing how Beowulf makes the seamless transition from his wild past to his comparably latent but still rash and courageous end. In the younger part of Beowulf’s life he is a great and fearless warrior, characterized by his feats of strength and courage, including his swimming match against Breca. He accepts his visible defeat even though a selfish individual would have contested the interference of the sea monster into the match that caused his defeat. He also contains all of the manners and values that are expected of a man in that time, including loyalty, courtesy, and pride. Beowulf’s victory over Grendel and the assumed defeat of Grendel’s mother validates his reputation for bravery and establishes him completely as a hero. In the beginning, Beowulf matures very little because he already possesses many heroic qualities from the start. Having rid Denmark of its problems and demons, Beowulf is ready to enter a new phase of his life. Hrothgar, who has become his mentor and somewhat of a father figure to the young man, also begins to advise him on how to rule wisely and efficiently. Beowulf does

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