The Idea Of A Hero In Beowulf

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What is a hero? If someone is called a hero, what does that say about them? The Webster Standard Dictionary says that a hero is “one noted for courage and greatness; the central figure in a story.” However, there is more to being a hero than those few things alone. A hero is one who you can always count on; who is willing to make sacrifices for the good of others; who is full of compassion for nobles and servants alike, and desires justice in all areas. A hero is someone with virtue of character, conviction of spirit, and loyalty of heart. Perhaps most notably, the hero is the one who perseveres even when the challenges before him appear insurmountable. The idea of a hero such as that is of no new invention. Humanity has always known …show more content…
It was written by an unknown author c. 1,000 AD. The epic poem centers on Beowulf, prince of the Geats, and his battles with Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a fierce dragon during his life. Before and during each of these battles, Beowulf exhibits tremendous amounts of courage, determination, and bravery. When speaking to Hrothgar just a short while before fighting Grendel, Beowulf demonstrates his courage when he first asks to fight with neither weapons or allies, and further when he says, “If death takes me… no longer needst though care about the sustenance of my body. Send to Hygelac, if battle takes me off, the best of battle garments that arms my breast… Fate ever goes as it must.” His final words to his comrades before fighting the dragon which does in fact kill him are, “With my might I shall gain the gold; or war, a perilous violent death shall carry off your prince.” He shows a determination to succeed as well as tremendous physical strength and courage to take on new foes. Beowulf’s brute force and determination are reasons he can be called a hero. But what of other …show more content…
Beowulf was determined, strong and brave, battling three different monsters entirely on his own. Sure he was a hero, but even so, Hrothgar warned him saying, “Care not for pride, famous hero. Now the repute of thy might endures for a space; straightway again shall age, or edge of the sword, part thee from thy strength… [O]n a suddenit shall come to pass that death shall vanquish thee, noble warrior.” Theseus, duke of Athens, showed tremendous compassion and a developed sense of and desire for justice. Surely he was hero, but even so, he built temples to false Gods. And finally, Sir Gawain, beloved knight of all, showed a willingness to sacrifice himself and a great virtue and convition regarding the lady’;s temptations. Surely he too was a hero, but in the end he did accept the lady’s girdle as a sign of her love. The heroes which the world has created for itself are indeed great. However, they are flawed. The only truly perfect hero; the only one capable of actually fulfilling the world’s need for a hero, is Christ

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