top-rated free essay

Beowulf Was Not an Epic Hero

By allybaby01 May 21, 2013 318 Words
In an epic the hero is on a journey to accomplish one thing and winds up learning about himself or actually accomplishes something quite different from the original goal. In actuality, Beowulf is basically a hit man looking for glory. He comes to save the people from Grendel, not because he gives a hoot for the people but because he wants glory. Do you mean tragic hero? He's not a tragic hero because he gets punished for something that is absolutely his own fault and he knows it - he goes after the dragon's hoard, the dragon kills him. A tragic hero is destroyed by something he did unknowingly, not realizing that he has been mistaken all along. I'm trying to use the idea that Beowulf has a flaw of excessive pride, is informed that he has this problem, but fails to fix his fault by the end of the poem. He did not need to fight the final battle but did so because of his pride. The only reason Beowulf can be successful is his constant modesty. He attributes all of his victories to God, embodying ideal Christian behavior. In the context of the story if Beowulf had become proud he would have failed. Beowulf’s success is only possible because of his lack of pride. In Beowulf’s world, pride will only lead to death. When Beowulf first arrives in Hrothgar’s kingdom, Hrothgar warns him about what happens to men who become too proud and attempt to fight Grendel. Hrothgar says, “how many times have my men…sworn to stay after dark/ and stem that horror with a sweep of their swords (480-6). Those men get drunk and swear they will defeat Grendel, and pride forces them to do what they said they would: fight Grendel. No one has ever succeeded because they are too proud. However, Beowulf does not become proud, and so he can succeed.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Beowulf, the Epic Hero

    ...Beowulf, the Epic Hero There have been many grand stories about great warriors, and champions; those about epic heroes however, are the truly exceptional tales. One such tale, over a thousand years old, stands out from all the rest: Beowulf, the tale of a great warrior, on his quest to achieve eternal glory, defeating great opponents. Throug...

    Read More
  • Beowulf; the Epic Hero

    ...Beowulf; The Epic Hero In the epic poem, “Beowulf”, the fate of nations rest on the shoulders of one man and the forces opposed to all that is good are defeated. In this Old English epic, the character of Beowulf is immortalized as an iconic hero in literature. He is known for the killing of the evil monster Grendel, descendant of Cain,...

    Read More
  • Beowulf the Epic Hero

    ...Who is Beowulf, that makes him such a person to be called an Epic Hero? As a mortal human being who was born and raised in Geatland, he lives his life in the poem with greatness in loyalty for himself and his people The fact that he has accomplished many substantial triumphs during his existence, makes it clear on who he really is as a person an...

    Read More
  • Beowulf the Epic Hero

    ...Beowulf the Epic Hero What does it mean to be a hero? Like anything else in this world, the definition of the word hero can be argued. Some may say that a hero can be passive, that is if he or she refrains from doing a certain action it makes them heroic. Others would argue that to be truly heroic the character must never turn tail and alwa...

    Read More
  • Beowulf As an Epic Hero

    ... Beowulf as an Epic Hero An epic hero is the central figure who has superior qualities and risks personal danger to pursue a grand quest. Beowulf is a great epic hero because he performs many brave deeds such as risking his life for the greater good of society, and...

    Read More
  • Beowulf Epic Hero

    ...An epic hero is a character in an epic poem that is brave and noble and is admired by his followers for their achievements. Beowulf is an epic hero. He fits every description and is talked about in elevated language. In the story it is Beowulf’s duty to protect his people and defeat hideous monsters. When he hears about a wicked monster that...

    Read More
  • Beowulf as a Epic Hero

    ...Beowulf Paper A true hero does not fear death or, but instead risks all that he is for what he believes to be right, moral, and just. Beowulf is an epic and tells the story of a legendary hero, conquering all obstacles as if he was immortal. Up until the end of Beowulf's life he was constantly looking to be the hero. However, his humanity is ...

    Read More
  • Beowulf: Epic Hero

    ...Beowulf: Epic Hero An epic hero, an Anglo-Saxon hero, a modern-day hero; A hero is is often defined by certain qualities, looked upon traits. We have heroes amongst our lives everyday, from saving a life to simply helping someone out. In the epic poem, “Beowulf”, Beowulf was the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. The Anglo-Saxon c...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.