The Epic Hero: Beowulf

Topics: Beowulf, Hero, Epic poetry Pages: 2 (761 words) Published: January 16, 2006
The Epic Hero
The anonymously written epic poem Beowulf describes one of the most heroic men of the Anglo Saxon times. Hearing of Hrothgar's cries for help, Beowulf sets sail toward Herot to stop the terrorization of Grendal. Beowulf, as many other epic heroes, displays strength stronger than any other man in his time. His men would have no other leader and think of him as godlike, and in the same he puts his people before himself. Not fearing death and his bravery in all of his battles show his epic quality as well. Beowulf represents the ultimate epic hero who risks his life countless times for immortal glory and for the protection of others.

Beowulf's amazing strength shows his men they can trust and have confidence in him. As Beowulf fought Grendel, the monster, stunned at Beowulf's strength, could only think to run away. "Grendel's one thought was to run from Beowulf, flee back to his marsh and hide there."(437) Beowulf rips off Grendel's arm, showing superior strength, and hangs it on the rafters in Herot as Grendel runs to his den to die. Grendel's mom, seeking revenge from her son's death, is next to battle Beowulf. Beowulf goes to her den at the bottom of the marsh ready to kill her. As Beowulf fights, the Danes and Hrothgar's men leave, having gave leaving the Geats, waiting for their lord to return. "The Danes gave up, left the lake and went home, to Hrothgar with them. The Geats stayed, sat sadly, watching, imagining they saw their lord but not believing they would ever see him again."(254) Beowulf sees a sword made from giants that no ordinary man could lift. Beowulf swings the sword and severs her head. "Then that noble protector of all seamen swam to land, rejoicing in the heavy burdens he was bringing with him. He and his glorious band of Geats thanked god that their leader had come back unharmed."(277)

Beowulf puts his people before himself even when his own life may be threatened. Beowulf goes to Herot and waits for Grendel,...
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