Pride, As An Epic Hero In The Epic Of Beowulf

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Beowulf is a poem written between the middle of the seventh and end of tenth century, also known as the Anglo-Saxon time period. Among their principles, courage, courtesy, and loyalty were the primary values implemented throughout their culture. Beowulf is a heroic narrative that focuses on a prince, also known as Beowulf, who stands as one of the greatest heroes ever known throughout the land of the Geats. Such reputation was developed as a result of his bravery, which led him to many victorious battles, a quality of who the Anglo-Saxons highly valued in a warrior. The poet of Beowulf characterized Beowulf as an epic hero through his use of diction to highlight his bravery, which ultimately leads him to become a successful king, proving the …show more content…
With Grendel’s arm as a representation of victory, Beowulf offers his assistance one last time in order to kill Grendel’s mother. Beowulf guarantees Hrothgar that she will not get away, all while getting ready for combat very much “indifferent to death; his mighty, hand-forged, fine-webbed mail would soon meet the menace underwater” (1443-5). The poet includes the phrases “indifferent to death” and “menance underwater” to solidify Beowulf’s pride and bravery. It can be interpreted that Beowulf is not afraid of death being an option and that he not only believes it is all part of fate, but that he has the capability to defeat the monster once and for all. King Hrothgar’s men are aware of the dangers that lurk in the mere, but unlike the men, Beowulf decides to confront the monster in the unknown. Through this gallant behavior, Beowulf is taking a step into places no warrior has ventured, risking his life for a kingdom he does not belong to. It is not until the underwater battle begins that Beowulf’s sword fails and he is forced to “rely on the might of his arm, so must a man do who intends to gain enduring glory in a combat” (1533-6). The poet’s incorporation of expressions such as “might of his arm” and “gain enduring glory” portray Beowulf as a courageous warrior. After the blade of the sword fails, Beowulf instinctively takes it upon his own …show more content…
As Beowulf prepares for his encounter with the dragon terrorizing the Geats he refuses to assemble an army as “he had scant regard for the dragon as a threat, no dread at all of its courage or strength” (2347-9). The poet utilizes phrases such as “scant regards” and “no dread at all of its courage and strength” to illustrate Beowulf’s state of mind as he prepares for battle. Beowulf is aware of the danger that awaits, but cannot find it within himself to fear for his life. His bravery is spurred on by his pride, the warrior within him takes control and encourages him to take on a dragon whom no warrior has encountered. As Beowulf addresses his men one last time he argues he would rather not use a weapon as“if I knew another way to grapple with the dragon and make good my boast as I did against Grendel” (2517-21). The poet includes Beowulf’s boast to reveal Beowulf’s true intentions for fighting the dragon. As a young warrior, Beowulf had created a magnificent reputation through his encounters with Grendel, now as a king, he has been forced to face a monster of his own. Beowulf wants to be remembered for his bravery and his victories, such a statement can be supported by his decision to face the dragon on his own instead of utilizing his warriors. Beowulf alleges the fight with the dragon is not any other man’s responsibility but his

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