Beowulf: Characteristics of an Epic Hero

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A hero is is often defined by certain qualities, looked upon traits. A true hero does not fear death or, but instead risks all that he is for what he believes to be right, moral, and just. Beowulf is an epic that tells the story of a legendary hero, conquering all obstacles as if he was immortal. In the narrative epic poem, Beowulf, the great Anglo-Saxon hero, engages in three main battles. Beowulf approaches each of these three battles in a different way and with a different strategy in mind. He embodied courage, strength, and loyalty; which proved to be of great aid in his battles and quest for justice. In Beowulf’s first battle against an enemy, Grendel, a monster threatening the Dane’s at night. Grendel appears threatening, but Beowulf is not swayed. That night, he watches as his enemy kills one of his men, and as Grendel reaches for Beowulf, Beowulf rips off his arm. His extraordinary strength allows him to fight and kill the evil monster, Grendel, with his own bare hands. The battle with Grendel portrays Beowulf’s strength, and ability to succeed at what he strives for. Above all impressive feats, Beowulf was not afraid to die. He left this decision to fate and accepted it no matter what. He even stated “And if death does take me, send the hammered mail of my armor to Higlar.”(18). This portrayed a valiant trait within Beowulf: courage. In the battle with Grendel’s mother, the duel takes place under water. After finding that his sword is not sharp enough, he discards it and begins struggling with Grendel’s mother. He then spies another, bigger, sword, and swiftly uses it to cut off her head. Being able to do this remarkable feat is astounding, and accurately portrays the courage embodied in Beowulf. The last battle was with the dragon, that was terrorizing the Dane’s Hall, after a slave stole a cup from it’s lair. Beowulf hears of this, and with the

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