Beowulf : An Epic Hero Essay

1369 Words Oct 13th, 2015 6 Pages
Throughout literature, every culture has created their own idea of the perfect man and hero. These cultures were trying to formulate a man who could fight in wars, slay dragons, and rule a country all at the same time. For the Anglo-Saxon people, this ideal hero meant a hero that housed superhuman abilities, the bravery of a lion, a royal background, and glory beyond belief. From the time the reader meets Beowulf; he exhibits the Anglo-Saxon qualities of an epic hero that include superhuman abilities, above average bravery, and excessive glorification of his deeds.
When classifying a character such as Beowulf as an epic hero, evidence of superhuman abilities would be a necessary characteristic to identify. Beowulf exhibits these superhuman abilities with the strength of not only his arms, but also his internal organs. The reader first sees Beowulf’s superhuman strength while he is fighting Grendel in Herot. The scene is described vividly in the text, “The monster’s hatred rose higher, / but his power had gone. He twisted in pain, / and the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder/ snapped, muscle and bone split/ and broke” (337-341). In this instance, Beowulf rips Grendel’s arm from his body, but not just his arm; he rips the arm, the shoulder, and all. No human is capable of doing this to another human being, much less a monster that is probably multiple times their size. The next shining example of Beowulf’s superhuman abilities occurs while he is battling Grendel’s mother.…

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