Beowulf - Hero

The epic poem Beowulf describes the most heroic man of the
Anglo-Saxon times. The hero, Beowulf, is a seemingly invincible
person with all the extraordinary traits required of a hero. He is able to
use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people
before himself. His leadership skills are superb and he is even able to
boast about all his achievements. Beowulf is the ultimate epic hero
who risks his life countless times for immortal glory and for the good
of others.

Beowulf is a hero in the eyes of his fellow men through his
amazing physical strength. He fought in numerous battles and returned
victorious from all but his last. Beowulf is also strong enough to kill
the monster Grendel, who has been terrorizing the Danes for twelve
years, with his bare hands by ripping off his arm. When Beowulf is
fighting Grendel's mother, who is seeking revenge on her son's death,
he is able to slay her by slashing the monster's neck with a Giant's
sword that canonly be lifted by a person as strong as Beowulf. When
he chops off her head, he carries it from the ocean with ease, but it
takes four men to lift and carry it back to Herot mead-hall. This
strength is a key trait of Beowulf's heroism.

Another heroic trait of Beowulf is his ability to put his peoples
welfare before his own. Beowulf's uncle is king of the Geats so he is
sent to help the Danes of the evil Grendel. Beowulf risks his own
life for the Danes, asking help from no one. He realizes the dangers
but fears nothing for his own life. After Beowulf had served his people
as King of the Geats for fifty years, he goes to battle one last time to
fight a horrible dragon who is frightening all of his people. Beowulf
is old and tired but he defeats the dragon in order to protect his people.
Even in death he wished so secure safety for the Geats so a tall
lighthouse is built in order to help the people find their way back from

The most heroic of traits within Beowulf is that he is not afraid
to die. He always explains his death wishes before going into battle
and requests to have any possessions delivered to his people. "And if
death does take me, send the hammered mail of my armor to Higlac,
return the inheritance I had from Hrehtel, and from Wayland. He
knows that when he fights an enemy like Grendel or Grendel's mother
he will achieve immortality as the victor or the loser. Even with the
enormous amount of confidence Beowulf possesses, he understands
that Fate or Wyrd will work its magic no matter what and he could be
killed at any point in his life. He faces that reality by showing no fear
and preparing for a positive or a fatal outcome.

Beowulf is the prime example of an epic hero. His bravery and
strength surpass all mortal men; loyalty and the ability to think of
himself last makes him worshiped by all. Beowulf came openly and
wholeheartedly to help the Danes which was an unusual occurrence in
a time of war and wide-spread fear. He set a noble example for all
human beings relaying the necessity of brotherhood and friendship.