Essay on Beowulf

657 Words May 2nd, 2009 3 Pages
“Beowulf- The Anglo-Saxon Hero” The Anglo-Saxon culture embraces virtues such as courage, strength, loyalty, cunning, and generosity. These virtues are exemplified by the epic hero Beowulf. Beowulf possesses each of these characteristics. Throughout the epic tale of Beowulf, the hero displays each of these virtues through his actions and adventures. The first of these characteristics is Beowulf’s strength. He is often referred to as “the strongest of the Geats”. Beowulf displays this great strength when he faces Grendel. Grendel had caused great losses to the Danes, but Beowulf vows to defeat him unarmed. Beowulf indeed defeats Grendel without arms, and displays his overwhelming strength. During the encounter, it is …show more content…
However, Beowulf’s loyalty would not allow him to take the throne over Heardred (Hygelac and Hygd’s son). Beowulf would assume the throne of Geatland, when Heardred perished in a battle against the Swedes. Some other characteristics displayed by Beowulf are generosity and cunning. Generosity is displayed by Beowulf sharing his rewards and treasure with his king. Upon his return to Geatland, Beowulf could have kept the treasures to himself and his troops, but he shared them with his king, Hygelac. This act of generosity is showed when Beowulf states, “I was paid and recompensed completely, given full measure and the freedom to choose from Hrothgar’s treasures by Hrothgar himself. These, King Hygelac, I am happy to present to you as gifts” (p. 1680). A good example of Beowulf’s cunning would be during his fight with Grendel’s mother. Beowulf was struggling during the battle due to his weapons having failed him, but he spots a sword from Grendel’s mother’s arsenal. He grabs the sword and strikes the beast in the neck. This quick thinking allowed Beowulf to go from his certain doom, to being a hero again. All of these virtues allow Beowulf to be a classic Anglo-Saxon hero. He is characterized as being a fearless warrior who possesses strength that no man can match. Along with this strength, he also exhibits great loyalty, generosity, and cunning. These particular characteristics make

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