Beowulf Epic Hero Essay

626 Words 3 Pages
Beowulf is a pristine example of an epic hero, from his noble birth to his tragic flaw that ultimately leads to his demise and in the process; reveals the complexities of life in the final act of Beowulf by Seamus Heaney. In the epic, Beowulf is the main protagonist and epic hero of the poem. He embodies all of the twelve characteristics of an epic hero such as being born to a Danish thane making him part of the nobility. Much like any epic hero, Beowulf is strong. This is indicated when he fights Grendel and rips his arm off with his bare hands during the first act. Another characteristic he has is his fame. When Beowulf arrives, he is already well known for slaying monsters and other heinous creatures. His fame only increases when he slays Grendel and his mother. Beowulf is courageous for …show more content…
In the first battle it is obvious that Grendel is the main antagonist because he is a demon and he kills Hrothgar’s men. The second battle puts Beowulf up against Grendel’s mother, who is said to be much worse than Grendel himself. But once again, it is obvious that Grendel’s mother is evil. However, in the third act of the poem the dragon isn’t shown to be necessarily evil. The dragon is guarding his treasure when suddenly someone comes in and steals some of it. This awakens and angers the dragon, causing him to go on a hunt for the thief. But another major factor in the final battle is that Beowulf is much older than when he was fighting Grendel. This makes him less ready to battle the dragon and only serves to give Beowulf overconfidence in his abilities which leads to his downfall.
Beowulf is a great example of a epic hero, from his courageousness to his self sacrifice he embodies all the characteristics of an epic hero; he is built upon in the first two acts of the poem before succumbing to his tragic flaw in the final battle,

Related Documents