The Hero As A Hero In The Epic Of Beowulf

Superior Essays
Brodi Ashton once said, “Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.” (Ashton). Basically, a hero is defined by his actions. The actions to save civilians or to help the economy are all modern day paths heroes have the opportunity to take. There have been many real and fictional heroes throughout history. One of the oldest heroes came from an old English Poem titled Beowulf. There is no known author of this poem due to its age and because it was an oral story to begin with. Beowulf was a hero who fought monsters for another country. Like Spiderman, Beowulf had strong motivations. Why else would you go fight a monster in a foreign land? The hero of Beowulf was motivated by the act of fulfilling his duty, the …show more content…
When Beowulf first landed in Denmark, he went up to the king and gave him a speech about why wanted to fight Grendel. “And best of them, that my duty was to go to the Danes’ Great king. They have seen my strength for themselves, have watched me rise from the darkness of war, dripping with my enemies’ blood.” (Beowulf). Beowulf clearly states that it is his duty to fight and defeat Grendel. He has a moral obligation and he has the special skills it takes, therefore he must be the one to fight him. Sarah McNary wrote, “The spirit of loyalty that has already grown, in Beowulf 's time, into a racial institution, is strongly impressed upon the poem. The duty of the thegn [thane] to his lord, a service resting upon sentiment as well as upon necessity, is performed heartily.” (McNary). This is to say that Beowulf was very loyal and this loyalty was used as a lesson for younger generations to hear this story. From Beowulf they learned how to treat a king in power. They also learned that if there were something that could benefit the group, it would have to be shared with the group. This way of thinking helped give Beowulf the duty he had to fight …show more content…
A hero is an individual that other people aspire to be like and look up to. Beowulf is a type of hero that has many of the common heroic traits such as courage, strength, and loyalty. Pride and glory are also prized possessions for people. Glory extremely evident throughout the poem. Beowulf had pride, but he knew how to contain it. Isaac Disraeli wrote, “Yet pride and glory fermented the coarse leaven of these mighty marauders, who were even chivalric ere chivalry rose into an order.” (Disraeli). In this time period pride and chivalry were required for warriors. Beowulf was the greatest warrior; therefore he had tons of pride and equal amounts of chivalry. However, Beowulf does lack a humanitarian view. He sees himself as something Godlike and he wants others to see him this way also. To achieve this, Beowulf walked up to King Hrothgar and told him to stop whining and start looking for vengeance. He told him to start seeking out glory and earn his respect. “’Better for man to avenge a friend than much to mourn. All men must die; let him who may win glory ere death’…Up sprang the ancient, gave thanks to God for the heartening words the hero had spoken.” (Beowulf). In this part of the text, Beowulf is clearly defined as a hero for helping the king out of his grieving. He tells the king to make himself a legend and be a hero to his people. Everybody dies in their life; which means

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