Epic Hero

Topics: Beowulf, Grendel's mother, Hero Pages: 3 (869 words) Published: September 20, 2010
Is fame or glory the only significance in life? During the Anglo-Saxon period, it is common to seek fame because it is alleged to be the utmost accomplishment possible for someone. Fame means that immortality could be attained and that is extremely important. In the poem Beowulf, the character Beowulf illustrates an ideal example of the desire to achieve fame. Beowulf is a young adventurer eager for fame and is also classified as an epic hero. An epic hero is someone who is on a quest, risks his or her life for glory or fame, and embodies the ideals or values of his or her culture. Clearly Beowulf possesses all of these essentials of an epic hero throughout the poem.

One of the essentials that Beowulf possesses is the unquenchable desire for a quest. Beowulf is measured as an immense quest seeker by rapidly taking the initiative to accept the first mission to kill Grendel just by “[hearing] how Grendel filled the nights with horror” (112). Grendel is a horrifying bayou creature of massive size that goes around slaying people from Herot. In spite of hearing Grendel’s appearance and actions, it does not intimidate Beowulf because the challenge is graciously accepted

Immediately, after hearing about the events that occurred, Beowulf swiftly reacts to the situation by accepting an additional quest. These are just some of the signs that verify Beowulf as a true epic hero.

Another sign that verifies Beowulf as a true epic hero is the role of a risk taker. By acquiring various quests, involves an enormous amount of risk or danger. Beowulf certainly experiences a great deal of risk throughout the battles. For example, Beowulf arrives at the lake preparing to fight Grendel’s mother without a clue of any sudden events that may occur: “Beowulf, anxious to take part in battle, leaps into the lake without waiting for anyone’s assistance. While Beowulf is in the lake for hours, the water exceeds its normal height until at last Beowulf arrives at the muddy...
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