Not Just an Ordinary Person
In order to establish Beowulf as an epic hero in the piece of literature Beowulf, he must possess all or most of the characteristics of an epic hero. An epic hero is the central figure in an epic who has superior qualities and risks personal danger to pursue a grand quest. There are ten specific characteristics that one must have to be considered an epic hero. One must be significant and glorified, on a quest, and responsible leader. One must also have superior or superhuman strength, intelligence, courage, and ethics. Lastly, one must risk death for glory or for the greater good of society, perform brave deeds, and reflect the ideals of a particular society. To be looked at as an epic hero, the first three characteristics a person must have are to be glorified, on a quest, and a responsible leader. The Geats say of Beowulf “Now when help was needed. None / Of the wise ones regretted his going, much / As he was loved by the Geats” (lines 116-119). The Geats saying such things about Beowulf tells that he is glorified by his people. The people of Herot have chosen Beowulf in lines 149-150 “My people have said, the wisest, most knowing / And best of them, that my duty was to go to the Danes’ Great king” to go on a quest to Denmark to kill Grendel and help save their warriors. In order to be recognized as a hero, one must be a responsible leader. One must be willing to put themself ahead of others, take action when needed, take the blame when something goes wrong, and take credit when things go right. In Beowulf’s case, one must know when to bring soldiers, and when to go into battle alone. In line 679 of Beowulf “Wait for me close by, my friends” Beowulf realizes that nobody can defeat the dragon but him, so he tells his men to stand back so no one gets killed when unnecessary. The qualities that just about all people see are one who has superior strength, intelligence, courage, and ethics. Most people define a hero as a...
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