In the epic poem Beowulf, the protagonist Beowulf is shown as a hero with extrodinary strength. This is not what makes him a hero. By definition, a hero is a man of exceptional quality. However this term does not do Beowulf justice. His self-imposed purpose in life is to help others, and eventually sacrifices his own life in doing so. Beowulf’s battle with the dragon serves as a critique of the notion that Beowulf is a hero. The Dragon section displays many of Beowulf’s heoric characteristics. Beowulf establishes himself as a hero by fighting the dragon, exemplifing strength and courage when fighting the dragon, and sacrificing himself so that others can live.
Beowulf’s fight against the dragon shows Beowulf as a hero. Although Beowulf
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This notion is shown, when Beowulf fights Grendel and Grendel’s mother, but it is especially noticeable when he fights the dragon. When Beowulf fought Grendel others had the courage to attempt to fight him. The same is true with Grendel’s mother. When Beowulf goes to fight the Dragon, the other warriors cower away into the woods. Beowulf shows his courage by fighting the Dragon. Even when Beowulf is fighting the Dragon and realizes that his sword can do no damage he continues to fight. After Beowulf is on the verge of death he shows a combination of courage and strength by delivering the death blow to the Dragon, and not just laying down to die. Beowulf’s strength is shown when he is able to actually do battle with the Dragon; any normal man would have fallen to the dragon immediately.
Beowulf’s selfless act of sacrificing his life against the Dragon so that others could live define him more so as a hero than any other action. Beowulf displays actions of selflessness through out the poem. His first action was by coming over to Heorot and defeating Grendel. After peace is achieved he walks into certain death to stop the terror of the Dragon that has been destroying his kingdom. Instead of having his men join him in battle he sends them off so that he may fight the Dragon alone and not risk other’s lives. After the Dragon is defeated he asks that all the spoils go to all those in the kingdom so