Essay on Beowulf : The King And Hero

1293 Words Sep 8th, 2014 6 Pages
Beowulf: The King and Hero
In Beowulf by Seamus Heaney, Beowulf serves as a hero and a king. He proves himself a strong and brave hero, but as a king, it is debatable whether he is ideal. His predecessor, King Hrothgar, was a paragon king, he was generous, humble, wise, and was loved by the people. Beowulf is many of those things, and more, but he is not always humble which leads to faulty, stubborn decision making. In the end, this is a fatal flaw, and it causes the Danes and Geats a lot of trouble.
Beowulf’s character personifies what a hero is: strong, brave and good. In the beginning of the book, when Beowulf takes on the task of defeating Grendel, it is made clear that Beowulf is a special man, “There was no one else like him alive / [...] he was the mightiest man on earth / high born and powerful” (196-198). It is also said, by the king himself: “Nor have I seen / a mightier man-at-arms on this earth / than the one standing here [...] / he is truly noble” (290-1). The book’s reiteration of “the mightiest man”, is quite the compliment to Beowulf and accentuates his incredible strength that promises to defeat anyone that challenges it. To the delight of the king, people, and most importantly for his heroic reputation, he delivers in battle: he defeats Grendel. This is not his only victory though, he also takes down Grendel’s mother and the dragon, proving himself time and again a worthy hero. Another important component of being a hero is his good-will. All of the…

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