Beowulf and Arthur were both brave, had strength, helped the underprivileged, and had great leadership. They were both kings. They both risk themselves in battle for the greater good. They both strive for the respect from the people they protect and for love. They both show the characteristic of being fearless when faced with death.
But, he died a hero so he had no regrets. The fact that Beowulf feels such a great pull to have a good reputation, so much that he is willing to die for it, clearly proves this cultural value shaping his life. However, these two examples are need based fights—the villages needed a hero to save them from the monsters. Beowulf also tries to strengthen his reputation by challenging his friend to a swimming race. He is so influenced by the culture around him that he is willing to “risk his life for no reason but the danger” just so his reputation will get better (Raffel 39).
Instead, Beowulf does the right thing and because he does fate repays him by allowing “her stabbing blade to be blunted by the woven mail skirt” (71, 1547-1549). This shows that since Beowulf didn’t have to fight but knew it was and did fight, fate repaid him by sparing his life. Finally Beowulf proves he has the characteristic of fighting for what’s right by fighting the dragon in his old age. Beowulf, now in his 70s, could’ve just lied and down said his time was near anyway. However, that doesn’t represent a hero so Beowulf knowing he might not make it back, knows he must fight and he “feels no shame, with shield and sword” (101, 2517-2520).
When he battles the dragon and is near death, Wiglaf is by his side for whenever he asks for help. “By Almighty God, I’d rather burn myself than see flames swirling around my lord” (725-727) Wiglaf responded. This showed that they knew their responsibility and duty was to protect Beowulf and help him, knowing Beowulf would do the same for them. The Danes and Geats would put their own life at risk to protect each other or their leader. The Danes and Geats were very
After fifty years pass Beowulf still feels the passion to help those in trouble from terrible monsters. He then vows to kill an angry dragon. “I mean to stand, not run from his shooting flames, stand till fate decides which of us wins” (lines 675-677), meaning Beowulf is unwilling to flee from harms way for the betterment of his people letting fate decide whether it is his time or not to die. With his last dying breaths he is only thinking of his people, “For this, this gold, these jewels, I thank Our Father in Heaven…I sold my life for this treasure, and I sold it well. Take what I leave, Wiglaf, lead my people, help them” (lines 802-809).
BEOWULF ESSAY In the epic poem Beowulf, Beowulf is faced with many challenges, but ultimately proves himself to be a hero. Beowulf shows he is hero in many ways such as being brave, risking his life to save others, and being a great king who protects his people. Throughout the story he kills monsters and gains the respect of others. Beowulf is a great hero because he saves countless lives and is a selfless man. Beowulf is a hero who as saved countless lives fighting many monsters such as Grendel, Grendel’s mom, and the dragon.
Once again the watcher on the shore of Herot says to Beowulf's men ''From their ships, seeking of lives and our gold/ None have come more openly (157-158)''. Gold is valued by all the men in this story and this shows later on also when Beowulf fights the dragon. Beowulf fights the dragon to show his bravery but I also believe he wanted to slay the dragon for the treasure and gold that would come as a reward. After killing the dragon Beowulf is injured so bad but still shows his affection for the treasure by requesting it be buried by him. ''And the riches he and Wiglac/ Had won from the dragon, rings, necklaces/ancient, hammered-all/ The treasures they'd taken were left there, to/ silver and jewels buried in the sandy/ground (849-854)''.
Beowulf went off to fight this dragon all my his self with just a sword and a shield. In the end he defeated the dragon but also lost his life. The defeat shows the great strength that Beowulf has even as an old man. This also goes back to the quality of being brave. He shows braveness in this fight because he tells everyone that this is his fight and no one else should help him, which no one did.
By showing that he is loyal to his people, Beowulf in return achieves fame, which will help him achieve a good fate. All the people of Herot also look up to him which would make him a hero in their eyes. Beowulf is usually very loyal towards everyone he encounters, even when they are not always there for him. An example of this would be when he is fighting the dragon and all of his men abandon him, even Wiglaf. This however, does not affect Beowulf a whole lot, considering his brute strength.