A great man is talked about through the beginning of this epic. Although he is not specifically mentioned, we are to assume that the man is the son of Ecgtheow, Beowulf.
“…I have never seen
a greater earl on earth that one among you
a man in war-gear; that is no mere courtier,
honoured only in weapons- unless his looks belie him,
his nobel apperance!…” (246-250)
“he was of mankind the strongest of might
in those days of his life,
noble and mighty….” (196-198)
In both of these quotations the man (Beowulf), is referred to as “nobel” and “mighty”. The poet talks about qualities that are essentially huge components in a “Germanic hero”. These aspects are given to us, the reader, without any form of explanation as to why Beowulf may be considered noble or mighty. The poet is inserting his opinion and perspective of Beowulf indirectly through other characters, such as Unferth. It is clear the author believes that Beowulf is a hero. This is done to build tension and curiosity of whom this great one the poet talks about and why he is described to highly. Later on we find out of deeds to do explain why Beowulf is considered so heroic.
Beowulf has extreme loyalty and respect for others. This was clear when Beowulf was approached by Unferth upon his arrival.
“With a friendly heart w...
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... a good chance of falling to the powerful fiend, he chooses to be brave and fair by not using weapons. By doing this he is making it an equal fight. Beowulf is putting his wyrd into the Lord’s hands, meaning whatever events happen they were meant to be.
Beowulf does end up defeating the odds and overcoming the terrifying Grendel. Thirty mens strength helped Beowulf tear off Grendels arm, and later Grendel was found to have bled to dead in his layer. Fulfilling his promise, Beowulf uses nothing but his hands and strength. Without a question a very brave deed. Beowulf frees a kingdom that he does not belong to, but feels it is his duty because he is a loyal man. We don 't know whether the Lord’s hands had anything to to with the success of this heroic deed, but we do know Beowulf’s heroic attributes most certainly did. Beowulf is most certainly a hero either way.
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