Strength And Courage In The Epic Of Beowulf

683 Words 3 Pages
Beowulf

Epic Poems revolve around the beliefs and culture of a society, they tell stories of strength and courage. Many epics are based on the morale's of man, however tend to be unrealistic in nature. Epic Heroes, Elevated Language, and Anglo-Saxon values define the epic poem Beowulf about Anglo-Saxon culture and its hero.
Beowulf is an epic hero who portrays characteristics that idol a particular society. He finds him-self faced with struggles, which he conquers by making quests of nobility. ". . . Proclaiming that he'd go to that famous king,/" Beowulf, "Would sail across the sea to Hrothgar,/Now when [his] help was needed" (Beowulf 114-116). This shows Beowulf's selflessness and loyalty toward mankind. He also astonishes people with the brave deeds he performs, ". . . alone and with the help of [his] men,/[he] [purged] all evil from Herot." (165-166). By restoring peace to Herot, Beowulf gained the respect of Hrothgar and the Danes. As most epic heroes, Beowulf is a strong and responsible leader. ". . . [he] rose, still strong,/ and with his shield at his side, and a mail shirt on his breast,/ strode calmly, confidently, toward the tower,"(688-690) with his intentions clear he "roared out a battle cry,"(701) and awakened the dragon. Not knowing if fate was on his side he continued, toxic smoke encircling him, never looking back.
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Loyalty was a necessity to the Anglo-Saxon people, their leaders were never unfaithful and in return warriors pledged their loyalty. Wiglaf expresses loyalty to Beowulf when he says ". . . Our glorious king! By almighty God,/ I'd rather burn myself than see/ flames swirling around my lord."(780). When Beowulf ventures to kill the dragon he falls, fate against him, and Wiglaf fighting beside him. Another value of the Anglo-Saxons that is used in their poetry is courage. Beowulf tells Hrothgar, "My purpose was this, to win the good will/ of your people or die in battle, pressed/ in Grendels fierce grip. Let me live in greatness/ and in courage, or here in this hall welcome/ my death!"(366-369). To Beowulf cowardice is not an option, he will either defeat Grendel or die trying. Valuing generosity the Anglo-Saxons believe that they will be rewarded for their kindness. ". . . Then Wiglaf went back, anxious/ To return while Beowulf was still alive,"(791-792) he wanted to ". . . bring him/ Treasure they'd won together."(792-793). By taking the treasure to Beowulf, Wiglaf is rewarded when Beowulf hands him his armor and requests that he lead the

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