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Sample Essay on Beowulf

The epic story of Beowulf depicts a young man destined to find his place in Anglo-Saxon society as a hero, the deliverer of his people. Set out from his youth, Beowulf was enthralled, perhaps obsessed, with the idea of fame and accomplishment. His thirst for both fueled the remainder of his life as a leader amongst leaders and a true hero in the entire sense of the term. Finally, the tale concludes with the true mark of a hero, the ability to pass the torch on to a younger generation to which he has offered guidance, wisdom, and experience under his wing. Beowulf truly does deliver his people to their destiny and ensures that this destiny remains for years to come after his departure.

Unlike most heroes in literature that are often portrayed as having humble beginnings, Beowulf’s youth is relatively fortunate and comfortable. Nevertheless, Beowulf’s obvious passion to achieve the Anglo-Saxon value of fame and honor is unwavering and will lead him to his eventual fate. Beowulf is singled out early as a “superior being” amongst his peers. “[…] Beowulf, Higlac’s/ Follower and the strongest of the Geats—stronger than anyone anywhere in this world—[…]”(ll. 109-111) This distinction that he was of superior physical capabilities quickly led Beowulf to develop and inherit a superior mental capacity, one filled with an ability to lead and an aura of pompousness that he took with him to battle and amongst his people. This is demonstrated when the tale explains, “Beowulf arose with his men/ Around him, ordering a few to remain/ With their weapons, leading the others quickly[…]” (ll.134-136) Beowulf’s leadership is characteristic of a true hero and one whom will continue on to deliver his people.

Beowulf’s true talent was best displayed in the various competitions and battles he engaged in throughout his famed tale. His unwavering confidence and perhaps boastful personality struck not only fear but also awe and inspiration into the hearts and...
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