Beowulf as an Epic Hero in Burton Raffel’s Translation of the Story Beowulf.

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There are many stories heard growing up as children, some old and others new. The story Beowulf, is believed to be the oldest major literature to have been written in the English language. This historic epic was written by an unknown poet, and dates back to between the 8th and 11th centuries. Tragedy almost struck in 1731 when the leather manuscript of Beowulf was nearly destroyed while under the custody of Sir Robert Cotton while in his library( British). In this epic story, the protagonist of this script is Beowulf, prince of the Geats from Scandinavia (sparknotes). He continuously portrays features that no ordinary human being could acquire including eternal fame, extraordinary skill, and heroic courage. It is interesting to read about all his extraordinary hero qualities. In Anglo-Saxon culture, immortality was believed to be attainable through the gain of fame and glory by the act of doing noble deeds (HubPages). It was also possible by spreading one’s personal name throughout the land. In this epic, the concept is played quite well by the deeds Beowulf portrays as an epic hero; he not only saves the day, but spreads his name through the land. He introduces himself to Hrothgar, King of Danes, speaking of his bouts with five giants leading to his single handed removal of the giant race from the earth. He also leads to speak of fighting and defeating many sea monsters underwater at the deep depths of the darkest oceans (Beowulf 31). These deeds show the characteristics in Beowulf that many epic heroes seem to possess like defeating demonic, and god-like foes saving the day and in turn adding to the notoriety of the heroes name, aiding to their belief of immortality. Beowulf further pursues fame and glory by aiding Hrothgar in defeating the demon Grendel which has ran amuck in the kingdoms mead hall Herot and killed soldiers of the crown. By ripping Grendel’s arm, Beowulf ensures his fame as keeping it as a trophy and mounting it over Herot for all to...
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