“… A fiend out of hell”(Heaney 100). These words describe the monster Grendel, who is truly an evil entity. Only an epic hero with strength, courage and confidence is able to defeat this mighty foe. This hero’s name is Beowulf. He displays all of these throughout the epic. Beowulf’s first epic hero trait is confidence. Beowulf displays confidence when he talked to Unferth in the great hall Heorot. Beowulf said, “…but he will find me different. I will show him how Geats shape to kill/ in the heat of battle” (601-603). Here Beowulf says that Grendel would not put a scratch on him or his men. Beowulf thinks that the Geat warriors are far superior to Grendel. This quote is somewhat over-confident because Beowulf has not even seen Grendel yet, but claimed to be able beat Grendel with ease. This shows that he is confident in his abilities as a warrior and a hero. A similar quote that displays Beowulf’s confidence occurs when Beowulf was speaking to Unferth about his swimming match against Breca, Beowulf states, “I was the strongest swimmer”(534). This quote also indicates Beowulf’s cockiness because he states that no one is better than him at swimming. However Beowulf’s cockiness really convinces the Danes that he is fully capable of taking on the massive task of slaying their monster, Grendel. Because if Beowulf did not sound sure in his abilities as a warrior then the Danes would not feel very safe with their lives in Beowulf’s hands. Beowulf also shows a great deal courage throughout the epic. For example when Beowulf’s outside Grendel’s mother’s lair the text stated, “…After these words, the prince of the weather-Geats/ Was impatient to be away and plunged suddenly” (1492-1493). Beowulf’s courage is presented when he dove into the monsters lair essentially unprepared. Grendel’s mother had an obvious advantage due to the element of surprise. Another example of Beowulf’s confidence is displayed when he was trying to comfort Hrothgar after
Cited: Heaney, Seamus. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2000.