Hero and Beowulf

Topics: Hero, Beowulf, Courage Pages: 2 (755 words) Published: November 16, 2006
The Anglo-Saxon hero had to have a strong sense of duty, possess honor, be courageous and lastly they had to have incredible strength. In the case of Beowulf, even though he boasted of his feats and his ability to defeat anyone placed before him, he was still perceived as humble. A hero must be willing to sacrifice his or her own life without giving a second thought. An excellent example of a hero in Anglo-Saxon literature is Beowulf. The first heroic characteristic that Beowulf possesses is honor. Honor is showing a sense of integrity in one's actions. When Beowulf went to the land of the Danes to kill Grendel, he did it not because he wanted money, but because he wanted to help out the Geats. Beowulf felt as if it was the right thing to do since he had been successful in past deeds, which he proudly says in lines 321-322, where he says, "They had in remembrance my courage and might. Many had seen me come safe from the conflict,". Beowulf expected no reward for his action, but rather just being able to "put another notch in his belt." _ Another important aspect of an Anglo-Saxon hero was their intense level of courage. Even when Beowulf was old in age he readily wanted to fight the dragon even though he knew it would kill him. In line 1493, he says "Not one foot's space will I flee from the monster," thus showing his true bravery by not giving up to the more powerful foe. He was never worried about his own safety; he was prepared for what ever happened. All that come across Beowulf's path, because of his courageous deeds, often admired him. This is apparent in the following quote, "I have never seen a mightier warrior on earth than is one of you, a man in battle-dress". Beowulf was not only considered the strongest warrior but people often exaggerated his strength because of their admiration. Warriors had to be willing to sacrifice themselves for glory or for the betterment of the country all without a trace of regret. Beowulf's strength and courage are...
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