Is Beowulf A Hero? Essay

1185 Words Sep 8th, 2015 null Page
Is Beowulf A Hero?
We call many people heroes in the modern world, and we hold them to certain standards, higher than those we hold ourselves and those around us to. We expect them to be strong, valiant leaders in the face of crisis. In the epic poem Beowulf, with an unknown author, there is some speculation as to whether or not the main character, who shares the story 's name, is truly a hero. When analyzing the text, one must take into account both modern standards of heroism and much older Anglo-Saxon cultural values. While the two share many traits, understanding the Anglo-Saxons ' way of life will shine new light on things that may not have been noticed before, because they share no such meaning in the modern world. Beowulf is a hero because he actively works against opposing forces, some of which are portrayed as villainous, he goes above and beyond, and he exhibits strong leadership skills.
To begin with, Beowulf is a hero because he actively works against opposing forces, some of which are deliberately portrayed as villainous. In Beowulf, the author creates villains so that Beowulf can defeat them. His first obstacle, Grendel is said to be “a powerful monster” in the opening of the story (40), “conceived by a pair of monsters born of Cain, murderous creatures banished by God” (42); he kills thirty men for praising God, who exiled his ancestors, and his terror continues for twelve years. Beowulf fought with Grendel and ripped off his arm, leaving him to bleed out in…

Related Documents