Beowulf's Heroism

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Beowulf’s Heroism The poem Beowulf was written down around the year 1000 CE, but is said to take place around 6th Century CE. Transformation is the key theme of this poem as Beowulf is transformed from a young warrior, to an elder, wiser king during a 50-year time period, while still portraying heroic qualities along the way. Three key events that demonstrate his transformation are Beowulf’s conflicts with Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. The poet shows that Beowulf is a much different person as he grows up, but he remains the same hero throughout the entire poem. According to the Anglo-Saxon culture, there is a heroic code that demonstrates the qualities of a heroic individual. These qualities include being able to share feuds, hating peace, and have hospitality among other themes. Although many people may question Beowulf’s effectiveness as a hero, he proved that the heroic code is very broad and that there is not one specific way to demonstrate heroic qualities. At the beginning of Beowulf, a big, demon-like creature named Grendel who is described as a “God-cursed brute” (line 121), attacks Daneland and King Hrothgar’s newly built monument, Heorot. Heoret is a symbol for fortune and prosperity, however this demon is not allowing the Danes to celebrate in it. He slaughtered 30 men and did not stop his destruction on the Danes for 12 years. Nearby Geatish king Hygelac had a nephew named Beowulf who was only described in one way, “There was no one else like him alive,” (line 196). Beowulf was a young, unproven warrior who was yet to prove himself as a hero at the time. He was also extremely arrogant. Beowulf decided to do what no other warrior would do, to go to Daneland and defeat the demon Grendel. He wanted to do this so that he would be viewed as a hero, instead of just a young, unproven warrior. He knew who he was, but he wanted the

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