The Epic Poem, Beowulf, By Burton Raffel Essay

1219 Words Oct 26th, 2015 null Page
When the title of an ideal hero remains uneasily obtained, the substantially significant amount of standards one must uphold must be thoroughly checked for achievement. The acts of a hero should not be taken lightly and therefore neither should the label. A heroic archetype persists throughout the majority of works, especially epic poems. The in depth analysis of Beowulf in the epic poem “Beowulf” translated by Burton Raffel, proves Beowulf almost perfectly embodies the ideal hero by his fitting character traits of courage, strength, and honor and significant journey with the exception of a few minor details.
Examining whether a character meets expectations and criteria prove important when establishing an ideal hero in an epic poem. The Hero in an epic poem, usually the protagonist, displays characteristics such as bravery, honorableness, truthfulness, and self-sacrificing tendencies to fit into a relatively universal description. Throughout the entirety of the epic poem “Beowulf,” Beowulf easily exhibits all these traits. For instance, the warriors and mere people in this epic poem, Danes and Geats, acknowledge Beowulf’s great attributes respectively: “And Beowulf / Their prince, who showed them the way to our shores, / Is a mighty warrior, powerful and wise” (368-370). Beowulf and any epic hero embody multiple, if not all, positive traits one can behold. Credit for displaying such “might” and “wisdom” by leading his people to the shores of a foreign land is…

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