Beowulf as an Epic Hero

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Beowulf as an epic hero

Beowulf is a poem that was written in Anglo-Saxon, between 700 and 1000 A.D., and is probably one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature. It tells the story of the heroic acts in the life of our protagonist, Beowulf. It takes place in Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden precisely), around 500 A.D.

Beowulf is a hero of the Geats who arrives in Denmark from Geatland to help the king of the Danes, Hrothgar. Hrothgar enjoyed a successful and prosperous reign: he built a great mead-hall, called Heorot, which mere purpose was to serve as a place where warriors could gather to drink, tell stories and enjoy the songs of the scops or bards. But, these gatherings were quite loud and jubilant, and they had angered Grendel, a monstruos demon who lived in Hrothgar's kingdom. Grendel started to attack Heorot every single night, killing Danish warriors and sometimes even eating them. King Hrothgar, being of old age, was desperate that he couldn't do anything to protect his people. The Danes spent many years living in fear, until Beowulf arrived. He had heard of the situation Hrothgar was in, and decided to put an end to it. He gathered a few of his best men, and sailed off to Denmark.

He told king Hrothgar that he was determined to fight Grendel, in order to return the favour Hrothgar had once done to his father. Hrothgar accepted the help and held a feast in Beowulf's honour. Later that night, Grendel arrived. Beowulf fought him bare-handed, and the fight resulted in Beowulf's victory and Grendel's death. Hrothgar and the Danes praised their hero and had a celebration. However, Grendel's mother was determined to avenge him. She came to Heorot and killed one of king Hrothgar's most trusted advisors, Aeschere. Beowulf went to the lake where she lived, dived in and after they fought a while underwater, he killed her with a sword he pulled out of her cave. He then decapitated Grendel and took his head back to Heorot. Beowulf became a...
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