Professor Pamela Main
March 2, 2013
Beowulf: Epic Hero and Ruler
Beowulf displays true courage and valor and as characterized in the epic poem is arguably the ideal epic hero and ruler. He is described as having superhuman strength, which is seen countless times within the text of the epic poem. He is designed to be the perfect character, demonstrating zero flaws.Really? He is fearless, brave and full of courage even when faced with the threat of death. Aside from being a great and victorious warrior, Beowulf is shown to be a perfect leader as he brings prosperity and riches to his kingdom. His success as a king also reveals him to be wise as well as strong. Beowulf is one who is idolized by his people, and his final battle with the dragon is an example of his selflessness and drive to be honorable even while facing death. For these reasons, I consider Beowulf to be an ideal ruler for his time.
Obtaining honor was not easily achievable in Beowulf’s time, yet he attained this trait as he became well known and respected for his great accomplishments and feats. Those who knew him respected him. Beowulf is not necessarily the typical epic poem hero, as his only power was his brute strength. It was this brute strength and his drive to keep his honor and remain noble that earned him so many followers, in turn making him a great ruler who would lead through example throughout the entire poem. Beowulf demonstrates leadership qualities when he learns of the evil Grendel and sacrifices his own safety to fight for the people of Heorot. His honor and nobility was made quite apparent when King Hrothgar thanked him for his victorious fight against Grendel. I adopt you in my heart as a dear son. / Nourish and maintain this new connection, / you nobelest of men; there’ll be nothing you’ll want for, / no wordly goods that won’t be yours. / I have often honored smaller achievements, / recognized warriors not nearly as worthy, /...
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