“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle,” Norman Schwarzkopf. In the epic poem, Beowulf, an epic hero from Geats travels far out of his way to help the Danes with their fight against the nasty Grendel. However, in the story Beowulf encounters three monsters that he takes into his own hands and defeats them all. In doing so, Beowulf is rewarded greatly and becomes king and is looked up to by all. In his last battle, Beowulf defeats the dragon but dies soon afterwards, he is given an honorable burial. This poem was told throughout the era of the Vikings and was later written down as the first actually hard copy of the story. It was Burton Raffel was the famous author who translated this epic poem into modern English in which we now study the poem in. It is in this epic poem, Beowulf that our hero has three motives when fighting the three monsters and they are, obligation, reputation and respect.
Without a doubt one of Beowulf’s motivations throughout this poem was the feeling of obligation. This central theme is constant throughout the story. Beowulf, knowing he was strong and capable of defeating Grendel and helping the Danes felt as if he had to do it. Undoubtedly it was known that Beowulf was stronger than anyone in the world. This is supported on page 44, lines 109-116, “In his far-off home Beowulf, Higlac’s Follower and strongest of the Greats-greater and strong than anyone anywhere in this world- heard how Grendel filled night with horror and quickly commanded a boat fitted out, proclaiming that he’d go to that famous king, would sail across the sea to Hrothgar, now when help was needed.” After defeating Grendel Beowulf...
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...e silvers, jewels and treasures that were taken once he killed the dragon. It’s quite clear that Beowulf was respected throughout the entire epic poem, both before and after his death.
In the end, in the epic poem Beowulf, the great hero had many motives when deciding to go and fight these battles. Some motives may have seemed greater than others, however they all contributed to the epic hero. Respect was huge to Beowulf, he didn’t Higlac to think lowly of him if he used weapons so he decided to go without. Reputation played a big role within his home and people as well as the Dane’s as it grew throughout the story. Lastly, Beowulf felt that it was his duty or obligation to fight the Grendel monster due to his strength, this lead him to fight in the first place. Beowulf grew greatly throughout the poem and overall became a very strong character throughout the poem.
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