Beowulf Epic Hero
Epic heroes tend to possess rare qualities that make them admirable and enable them to stand out above everyone else. Such heroes are willing to do things that other people would not dare and go to extra lengths to fulfill their desires. Ideally, there are various admirable values, such as courage, strength, as well as intelligence, which people believe an epic hero ought to possess. One such character is Beowulf, an epic hero and the main character in Beowulf, who is brave and fearless. Throughout the story, Beowulf is able to portray the virtues of courage, selflessness, and strength as he fights different monsters, putting his life on the line in order to protect the people, making him an epic hero to many.
A hero is considered a selfless individual ready to serve others and give his life for them. In life, many people tend to be selfish and only look out for themselves and their needs. Beowulf portrays selflessness when he goes out to fight Grendel so that he can save the people from the creature (Porte, 2013). He goes along without carrying any sword or body armor but with the will and belief that he can defeat the monster for the people. During the fight, Beowulf is not hesitant and is willing to risk his life so that he can be able to slaughter the beast and thus protect the people. Such selfless traits characterize an epic hero who is never hesitant and always gives their best to fight monsters against all odds.
Epic heroes also tend to fight against monsters and supernatural creatures that are stronger than men. This description is also true of Beowulf, who travels to the kingdom of the Danes, intending to go and help these people who had no chance against the beast (Price, 2020). Upon his arrival, Beowulf fights Grendel, a monster in the kingdom of King Hrothgar, who has killed many men. In this fight, he vows not to use any weapon since Grendel is also not using any, leaving everything to chance and letting fate decide the winner (Hill, 2010). This event portrays his courage and willingness to put his life on the line with the firm belief that whatever would happen would be fate. Beowulf also fights Grendel’s mother, who wants to avenge her son’s death. He wins this fight and is able to save the people from the evil creature.
The warrior Beowulf comes up as an epic hero who is not afraid of death but does all in his power to help others and save them from powerful forces and enemies. Beowulf was inclined to help people that were in need which grants him the reputation of an immensely brave hero. Ultimately, his distinguished bravery is characterized by not fearing death, accepting what fate has to offer, and being willing to lay down his life and fight a threatening creature to save his people. Upon closer inspection, one can see that Beowulf fits the criteria of an epic hero, as seen in his exploits and selfless servitude toward the people. He is not afraid of risking his life but derives contentment from helping others and saving them from monsters that terrorize them, showing that he is an epic hero that deserves admiration and praise.
- Hill, J. M. (Ed.). (2010). On the Aesthetics of Beowulf and other Old English poems (Vol. 6). University of Toronto Press.
- Porte, J. (2013). The Ideal Epic Hero from Beowulf to Batman [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. The State University of New York at Stony Brook.
- Price, B. A. (2020). Potentiality and Possibility: An Overview of Beowulf and Queer Theory. Neophilologus, 104(3), 401-419.