Beowulf Epic Hero Essay

879 Words Sep 21st, 2013 4 Pages
Analysis of Beowulf as an Epic Hero The definition of a hero from ancient times to present day has evolved greatly, but they often still possess characteristics synonymous across all cultures and timespans. In modern times, they are often thought of as role models for others to live up to, and are generally humble, honest, and not afraid to put others in front of themselves. In ancient times, more emphasis was put on strength and fearlessness, and epic heroes were often saviors of the land, sent down to Earth in its time of need by God’s hand. Beowulf, the main character in the epic poem Beowulf, is blessed with superhuman strength, a magical weapon only he can yield, as well as a fierce sense of loyalty to his people and an obligation …show more content…
243-245). Beowulf takes this sword off the wall with ease and slays his adversary with it, proving that he is immensely strong, as well as the only mortal that can obtain such a weapon. Even before he picked up the giant-hammered weapon, he had his own sword, Hrunting, that he used to fight his foes in previous clashes. This weapon never let him down in battles before Grendel’s mother, and whenever he would “[swing] his sword/ his ring-marked blade…/ The iron [would sing] its fierce song” (l. 204-206). The fact that Beowulf had a blade that could slay almost any enemy, and he immediately finds a better sword only he can use when that weapon let him down, confirms his worth to the Gods and his role as an epic hero. Beowulf spends most of his time battling brutes and hellions, but remember why he does risk his life to kill these monsters; to protect his people he has a fiery loyalty to, and to create a legacy that will be passed down for eternity. As Beowulf lays dying from the fatal wounds caused by the dragon, he has some wise words to share with his companions as he beholds the dragon’s riches. In his final moments, thinking of his people he has battled all his life for, he humbly says “I give thanks/ that I behold this treasure here in front of me/ that I have been thus allowed the leave my people/ so well endowed on the day I die” (l. 412-415). He leaves this treasure to his comrades back home, demonstrating his integrity, yet

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