Based on his discussion of heroism in the excerpts you’ve read, would Emerson consider Beowulf a hero? Use this chart to organize the information you have learned in Emerson’s essay. Use notes you took while reading Beowulf to answer the question. You will need supporting evidence from each text to write a well-developed, organized response. Emerson’s Qualities of Heroism
(choose a minimum of four)
Does Beowulf exhibit this quality?
Yes or No
Provide supporting evidence
from the poem that supports your reasoning
Soldier or warlike attitude
disregards his own safety to fight for what is right.
Does not consider reason, but goes with his gut feeling for what is right. His heroism has been in character since he was a young man. Feels obligated to stand up for what is right and fight against evil. Follows through to the end.
Will sacrifice himself for what is right.
Good moral character
When he is explaining to Hrothgar that he along with his, “earlsmen” will go defeat the monster Grendel. This brave-mooded war-band, purify Heorot. , If he win in the struggle,
To eat in the war-hall earls of the Geat-folk,
Boldly to swallow them, as of yore he did often
The best of the Hrethmen! If grendel wins the fight he and his men will be eaten just like hrothgar's men.
And vassal forsooth; many a wonder
I dared as a stripling. Beowulf has had many adventures since he was young.
The comer-from-far-land had cleansed then of evil,
Wise and valiant, the war-hall of Hrothgar,
Saved it from violence.
From veriest rashness recks not for weapons;
I this do scorn, so be Higelac gracious,
My liegelord belovèd, lenient of spirit,
To bear a blade or a broad-fashioned target,
A shield to the onset; only with hand-grip
I, too, shall disdain to use any.