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wiglaf beowulf

D.J. Hudson
"The Fearless Beowulf"
Fear is a painful emotion excited by the expectation of evil.  In "Beowulf", translated by Charles W. Kennedy, fear is not an option, or emotion, nor does it even exist for the hero. The hero, Beowulf, is also given strength equivalent to thirty men.  These things are demonstrated in the tale of the most celebrated hero of Anglo-Saxon times, Beowulf.  A man, of which people loved and respected throughout the entire region where he lived. He made the people feel that they had someone to rely on through times in which failure seemed unavoidable. Beowulf, from the epic poem "Beowulf", is an extremely courageous hero and confronts his many difficult battles without fear.
Danger is confronted in every situation Beowulf faced, but he never considered fighting for what he felt was right no matter the cost. Beowulf showed his people that he was the person they could count on in times of trouble. There was a beast named Grendel that terrorizes the kingdom which Hrothgar rules. Beowulf wants to show that he is a hero and he also is fatalistic, which means that he believes in his battles if he dies or not he was meant to; that was his fate. This leads to, along with the fact that a great mead-hall wasn't being used due to this monster, Beowulf setting foot to rid the Danes of this problem. Beowulf's first sign of unmatchable courage comes in the fight with Grendel. Grendel is a large monster capable of snatching thirty men with a swoop of a hand. He is a giant whose superhuman strength and size is unmatched. Grendel has no fear whatsoever and he is merciless towards his victims. Beowulf sits awake in the mead-hall waiting for Grendel to strike.  He has no fear and believes victory is in his favor. Beowulf's men lie sleeping around Beowulf.  Grendel enters the hall killing when he arrives, "The demon delayed not, but quickly clutched a sleeping thane in his swift assault, tore him to pieces, bit through bones, gulped the blood, and gobbled the flesh, greedily gorged on the lifeless corpse, the hands and feet.  Then the fiend step nearer,(558-564)." Beowulf still sat unfrightend by what occurs and waits for the right moment to attack Grendel.  He approaches Grendel after the consumption of the man and grabs his arm and begins to crush it with his hand.  "His courage fled; but he found no escape!  He was fain to be gone; he would flee to the darkness,(571-572)." Beowulf full of rage and anger began to beat this monster with his bare hands.  "And Beowulf gained the glory of battle.  Grendel, fated, fled to the fens, to his joyless dwelling, sick unto death,(632-634)."  Beowulf without fear or hesitation fought this monster and won. This beast had killed many men at a single time, but Beowulf's courage let him prevail in a situation where fear takes over the hearts of many men.
Beowulf's next test of courage came when he fought Grendel's mother in her lair, she like Grendel, has incredible size and strength. Grendel's mother wants to get revenge for the murder of her son, Grendel. Beowulf jumped in the lake, leading to the lair, going after Grendel's mother without any thought that would suggest the slightest hint of fear.  After swimming in these murky waters Beowulf finds his enemy. "Swift she grappled and grasped the warrior with horrid grip, but could work no harm, no hurt to his body; the ring-locked byrny cloaked his life from her clutching claw; nor could she tear through the tempered mail with her savage fingers.  The she-wolf bore the ring-prince down through the watery depths to her den at the bottom,(996-1003)."  She was an enormous opponent but Beowulf still had no fear and did not want to run from her. In her lair the fight broke out. Beowulf swung his sword Hrunting, a human made sword, at her only to realize that this could not penetrate her skin. Realizing it would not help in his fight he drops his weapon and begins to fight her with barehands. She tried to bite his head but his once beautiful helmet softened the blow luckily saving ... more

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herobeo  Epic of Beowulf Essay - The Heroism of Beowulf  Epic Beowulf essays
Heroism of Beowulf  


Beowulf was written in the eighth century by an unknown author. The story is centered on Beowulf, the main character, who goes to Denmark to offer his assistance in fighting off, Grendel, the monster who has been haunting them. Beowulf most definitely proves to be a hero. His heroism is exemplified first when he kills Grendel, then when he kills Grendels mother, and finally when he kills the dragon, called Worm. This makes him a hero because he risks his own life to save the people of Denmark.

The reader first experiences Beowulfs heroism when he encounters and then kills Grendel. Grendel was a constant threat to the survival of the Danish people because he was using them as food. One night Beowulf awakes to find Grendel over his bed. Rather than trying to escape, Beowulf not only faces Grendel but also pursues him when he tries to escape. Like any other hero Beowulf purses the danger until it is conquered.

The reader experiences Beowulf heroism a second time when he kills Grendels mother. Grendels mother wanted to avenge her sons death and went back to the mead hall where a lot of warriors slept and attacked. Beowulf came and was ready to fight but Grendels mother fled. Disregarding his own safety Beowulf persistently tracks Grendels mother to her cave, where the head of the chieftain was found. Despite how colossal Grendels mother was Beowulf stuck it out till the end and eventually stabbed Grendels mother leading to her death.

The third time the reader experiences Beowulf heroism is when he fights and kills the dragon, the worm. Once again Beowulf completely disregards his safety and decided to fight this monster. This time Beowulf ended up need some assistance from Wiglaf. Fortunately the worm was killed. However, Beowulf too was injured and was dying. He made a few requests that he wanted to be done after he died for Wiglaf to carry out. This showed heroism because he wasnt scared of dying and was glad the worm was dead.

In conclusion by definition a hero is willing to do many things. For example he is willing to risk his own life for the good of others, faces danger and does not run away from it, and lastly pursues the danger until it is conquered. Every fight that Beowulf fought showed him doing all three of the characteristics a hero consists of. ... more

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