An Analysis Of Beowulf As An Epic Hero

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It is easy to see how Beowulf classifies as an epic hero, as his story in Beowulf, edited by M. A. Roberts, clearly follows the hero cycle. He possesses all the classic traits of a hero, including strength, bravery, determination, and loyalty. Beowulf receives his call to action when news of the monster Grendel terrorizing a nearby kingdom reaches him. He vanquishes Grendel, then kills Grendel’s mother as well. He uses legendary swords and faces mythical beasts. He defeats his final opponent, the dragon menacing his own kingdom, and dies in honor and glory. Most importantly, Beowulf has a fatal flaw of hubris that leads to his lowest point, where he is very close to death, but he perseveres and recovers from it to achieve his resurrection …show more content…
Many times throughout this epic, he is described to be certain of his success and not fearful of even the most dangerous monsters, and he constantly boasts about his experiences and victories in battle. This sometimes causes him to make questionable decisions, like when he ventured into the dragon’s lair. “Then did that Storm-Geat prince force a word from his lungs, and he burst with rage… his clear cry resonated loudly beneath the gray rocks of the cliffs” (Roberts 80). Beowulf is so certain about his ability to succeed in killing the dragon that he does not think about using a strategy that may be better than immediately alerting the dragon of his presence. He does not want to ruin his reputation by choosing the arguably smarter action of sneaking up on the dragon. This hubris directly leads to his lowest point, where he is alone in the dragon’s lair and his shield and sword have failed, and the venomous dragon bites his neck, which eventually leads to his death. If he had not been overconfident about his abilities, and so arrogant as to not want to look like a coward by sneaking in on the dragon, he most likely would have been able to defeat the dragon, or get help before his armor and sword were broken and he was mortally wounded. His hubris ultimately caused his …show more content…
He embodies all the traditional characteristics of a hero, such as extreme strength and courage, and he goes through the hero cycle where he is called to action and tested before horrible monsters. Although he emerges victorious, he is not without flaw. His hubris leads to a low point where he is close to death, but because Beowulf is a true epic hero, he learns from his mistakes in order to be resurrected and to finally earn his restitution. Epic heroes like Beowulf exhibit how flaw is essential to all people, because it allows ordinary people to constantly learn from their mistakes and go through their own epic hero cycle, resurrecting, maturing, and finding

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