Beowulf : The Valiant Journey Of A Young Geatish Hero Essay

1539 Words Jan 3rd, 2016 7 Pages
The Old English epic poem “Beowulf,” written by an unknown Anglo-Saxon poet, narratres the valiant journey of a young Geatish hero named Beowulf who travels to the land of the Danes to save them from the lurid demon, Grendel. Though Beowulf’s character epitomizes the Anglo-Saxon epic hero, Beowulf also possesses three major flaws that distract modern readers from his ultimate heroism. Beowulf’s first flaw, conceitedness, is apparent in the boasts he makes upon his arrival at Herot. Though it is obvious that the Geat is a talented and mighty warrior, his actions, not his continual gloats, should illuminate his skills and brilliance. Additionally, Beowulf’s energetic and competitive nature stimulates his need for action, often causing unpleasant situations. In both quarreling with Unferth and racing with Brecca, the hero’s ruthless competitiveness manifests itself. Finally, Beowulf’s yearning for gold and wealth demonstrates his overriding greed as he storms the dragon’s lair for its hoard of treasure. It is this greed that ultimately leads to his death at the end of the epic. These values differ markedly from those displayed by the modern twenty-first century hero – one who is courageous, yet humble; passionate, yet noble; and driven, yet charitable. Though the Anglo-Saxons hold Beowulf in the highest esteem, the protagonist’s conceit, competitiveness, and ultimate greed limit his heroic symbolism for the modern reader.
Beowulf’s conceit does not belittle his legitimate…

Related Documents