Unlike the difficulties Gawain faced, Shrek has managed gaining his house back and fighting for the woman he falls for. All in all, as a hero, Gawain’s greatest challenge is himself as he fears death; this goes hand and hand with Shrek’s greatest challenge, as he believes that his love will never want him. Traditionally, heroes are portrayed as courageous and even perfect human beings. First as a hero, Gawain is faced with the challenge of the Green Knight. As the Green Knight comes to King Arthur’s court, he causes a scene, which then invites everyone to "give a blow and take a blow".
In the novel, Beowulf, the main character is the epitome of an epic hero. He has great strength, he is morally sound, and, for the most part, he thinks of others before he thinks of himself. Beowulf comes to the Geats’ aid when an evil monster named Grendel terrorizes their mead hall. He courageously defeats the monster and defeats the monster’s vengeful mother. Through these battles, Beowulf’s strength, humbleness and courageousness is revealed.
D. Defeat in Beowulf (818-822) After defeating to great and treacherous monster, Grendel, the people of Danes believe that they can feel security once more on their land. Grendel is symbolized as darkness and evil throughout the poem. Grendel has been banished into darkness given his ancestral connection to Cain. Beowulf proves himself as a warrior by satisfying and pleasing his own self – pride. Mounting Grendel’s arm in Herot, the heart of Danish society, represents society’s victory over the outsider.
He is courageous, has seemingly superhuman powers, and is of noble blood, later becoming a leader himself. As a novice warrior he comes to the aid of Heorot, despite his little relation with the troubled kingdom, and with his indomitable strength Beowulf achieves a deed that many other great warriors failed to: he defeats the Grendel, the monster that has long taunted Heorot. Following this battle are kudos and material gratitude from the king, admiration from others, and glory that will last even after his passing. However, behind the depiction as an ideal hero figure, Beowulf begins to decline. He is now adulterated by the glory and material wealth of earth that he has lost the strength of his purity, a power that can only come when he fights only with his bare hands and without the protection of metal.
The fact that a man of such power as King James I was known to believe in demonology, influenced his subjects to subscribe to his beliefs. ‘Macbeth’ was written in 1605-6; the play contained all the factors that Elizabethans wanted in a drama, from demonology to the murder of a king, and it was a play that fitted in well with their everyday beliefs and contemporary issues. In act II, Macbeth is spoken of by others as a noble, courageous and almost like a living Scottish legend. He is highly praised by fellow soldiers, he is described as a ‘valiant cousin’, and ‘worthy gentlemen’ by Duncan. Receiving praise from a king is of such honour and prestige that few are worthy, and yet Macbeth is one of the select few who have the honour.
In the poem, Beowulf travels to Denmark without an invitation to reveal his destiny as “the mightiest man on earth, / highborn and powerful” (Lines 197-198). Only because Beowulf thinks it his is job to kill an indomitable monster, he travels across the sea to defeat him. Once Beowulf reached Denmark, he said, “Then news of Grendel, / hard to ignore, reached me at home…Now I mean to be a match for Grendel, / settle the outcome in single combat” (Lines 409-10/ 425-26). Beowulf travels across the sea thinking it is his job to defeat Grendel, yet not knowing what will come of his actions. He risked his existence, his wealth, and his men.
According to the poem, a great leader is one who thinks rationally, keeps his country at peace, takes care of his people, believes in God, has Divine kingship, and has good morals. This great leader is exemplified by none other than our epic protagonist and namesake of the poem: Beowulf himself. Beowulf is granted kingship of Geatland as a reward for defeating Grendel and his mother in two separate battles. Grendel was an evil demon who was terrorizing
Hrothgar, although Beowulf’s senior, must rely on this new warrior when he arrives at Heorot to aid in ridding his kingdom of danger. As the poem advances and Beowulf achieves more success, the relationship between the king and Beowulf strengthens even more. After the first battle, when Beowulf returns to Heorot with Grendel’s arm as a trophy: “Upon seeing Grendel’s arm, Hrothgar thanks God and promises to love Beowulf as a son. Beowulf recounts the events of the night before, leaving the Scyldings, especially Unferth, appropriately impressed” (Bloom 13). Hrothgar is both a paternal role model to Beowulf and an example of the type of king that Beowulf is striving to become, and ultimately will.
Through this quote, the reader sees Beowulf’s bravery as he is about to face the monster Grendel. According to Alexander M. Bruce, in his article, “An Education in the Mead-Hall: Beowulf’s Lessons for Young Warriors,” “In spite of the danger involved in fighting Grendel, Beowulf openly declares his intention to destroy this powerful enemy.” This is also seen in the poem when Beowulf states, "I with my hands shall seize the fiend and contend for his life, the hateful against the hostile; there the one whom death carries off must trust in God's judgment." (lines 438b-441). Beowulf’s words show his willingness and determination to defeat the enemy; this is similar to the attitude many soldiers have when facing
The Anglo-Saxons believed that he had superhuman strength. Having superhuman strength is a major part of Beowulf characteristics for it was what set him apart from others throughout the poem. “Hands that moved thirty men’s strength,” Beowulf was praised for his strength. With his strength Beowulf is able to over come many obstacles that he encounters. Beowulf firsts shows this when he defeats Grendel in Herot, for the ring-giver Hrothgar in behalf of his king Higlac.