Beowulf as a True Epic Hero

Topics: Beowulf, Hero, Epic poetry Pages: 2 (773 words) Published: November 1, 2012
Beowulf as A True Epic Hero
What are the qualities of an epic hero? An Epic hero is a hero on a quest, with superhuman powers displaying courage, generosity, and loyalty. Translated by Burton Raffel, the epic story Beowulf is one of the best and well known epics of its time. In the novel Beowulf the epic hero Beowulf shows characteristics of courage, physical strength, loyalty, self-confidence, and wisdom, much like heroes today.

In the epic Beowulf, the title character, shows his physical strength and courage in several ways. “‘Dripping with my enemies' blood. I drove / [f]ive great giants into chains, chased / [a]ll of that race from earth”’ (Beowulf 232-234). Beowulf boasts at his extensive bravery and initiative in battle by naming some of his impressive accomplishments. “‘In the blackest of night, hunting monsters / [o]ut of the ocean, and killing them one / [b]y one; death was my errand and the fate / they had earned ’” states Beowulf (Beowulf 235-238). Here Beowulf brags his bravery once more to tell of his journey and the lives he’s taken. “‘ My Lord Higlac / [m]ight think less of me if I let my sword / [g]o where my feet were afraid to, if I hid behind some broad linden shield: my hands alone shall fight for me...”’ (Beowulf 248-252). Beowulf exhibits his courage by fearlessly offering to defend the kingdom in battle. “‘ I have heard / [t]oo that the monster’s scorn of men / [i]s so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. / Nor will I”’(Beowulf 245-248). Beowulf proves his extreme amount of courage with his offer to take on the monster without using any weapons, only physical strength to defeat him. Even though Beowulf has a large amount of courage, he has the amazing physical strength to back it up.

While physical strength and courage are essential characteristics of an epic hero, wisdom, loyalty and self-confidence also play a major role. “‘ Our errand / [i]s a great one, our business with the glorious king / [o]f the...
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