Beowulf: An Epic Hero

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Hero “I need a hero! I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night. He’s gotta be strong. And he’s gotta be fast. And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight” (Tyler). Like Bonnie Tyler, the Geats need a hero to protect them. Beowulf comes to the Geats’ rescue by ripping Grendel’s arm off, decapitating Grendel’s mother, and stabbing the dragon. The almighty Beowulf exhibits superhuman strength, uses cunning tactics, and displays sharp skills with a sword. By playing to his strengths, Beowulf wins “trophies” from each of the monsters he defeats to show off his pride. Beowulf’s methods, weapons, and trophies all contribute to his development as an epic hero and his greatest downfall at the end of his journey. The first battle in Beowulf’s …show more content…
In fury, Grendel’s mother seeks revenge on Beowulf for her son. Unlike the even match on land against Grendel, Beowulf is at a disadvantage against Grendel’s mother. During this battle, Beowulf enters the territory of Grendel’s mother and gives her home field advantage (“Beowulf”). Theoretically, Grendel’s mother should have the upper hand in her own territory and is motivated by revenge for her own son. Grendel’s mother attacks Beowulf underwater and attempts to kill him in her cave, but Beowulf is able to counterattack. Beowulf may seem to have less motivation, but he also has something to prove. He needs to show everyone that his victory over Grendel was not a fluke, but the result of his skill and strength. Unferth loans Beowulf a sword to take with him called Hrunting. When Hrunting fails to penetrate Grendel’s mother, Beowulf finds a giant, magic sword in the cave to kill her with (“Beowulf”). Beowulf and Grendel’s mother are strongly motivated by personal reasons that could be their ultimate demise. Grendel’s mother allows her motivation of revenge to cloud her judgement in battle and be her ultimate downfall. On the other hand, Beowulf is able to think swiftly when everything appears to be working against him and uses his resources to win the battle. At the end of this battle, Beowulf uses this magical sword to decapitate Grendel’s mother and the sword melts to the hilt. After winning this battle, Beowulf returns with the head of Grendel’s mother and the hilt of the magical sword as trophies. The trophies represent Beowulf’s courage in the face of danger and his loyalty to fight for the protection of the people. This battle tests Beowulf’s determination, bravery, and astute perception in the midst of obstacles he has to face. Proving these qualities further contribute to his development as a hero and show that the defeat of Grendel was not beginner’s

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