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Heroism in Beowulf Essay

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Heroism in Beowulf

A hero is one who is not only strong, but one who uses his strength to uphold others. A hero is humble, philanthropic, magnanimous and selfless, a humanitarian at best. In the unprecedented epic Beowulf, the tale’s namesake exemplifies every characteristic befitting an Anglo-Saxon hero. He is honest, loyal, and courageous. He portrays these characteristics in the battle against Grendel, the affray with Grendel’s mother, and the fight against the dragon that inevitably ended his life.

Beowulf was a man of admirable exploits. He had the strength of thirty men in his arms, and would use this strength to aid anyone in need. Upon hearing of the plight of Grendel and the ill happenings in Hrothgar’s kingdom, Beowulf immediately gathered his entourage to help the king and defend Heorot. When Beowulf encountered the beast that had terrorized for 12 years, he single-handedly ripped off Grendel’s arm, an act ultimately killing the creature. To further delineate his heroism, Beowulf kept the arm as a trophy of his victory.

Upon learning of her son’s death, Grendel...


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