Beowulf’s combat against the various monsters in the text show his true heroic nature, that he fights for the protection of humanity. When Beowulf heard of the agony that Grendel had been inflicting upon the Danes “He gave orders / that a good ship should be prepared, said he would sail / over the sea to assist [Hrothgar]” (79). Beowulf immediately rushes to the aid of Hrothgar and his people, only a true hero would volunteer to slay the demon Grendel who tormented the Danes for years. In addition, after Grendel’s death, the monster’s mother comes to seek vengeance and murders one of Hrothgar’s counsellors. Beowulf instantly offers to hunt the the creature proclaiming “I promise you wherever she turns… she shall find no refuge” (108). The hero then goes on to slay Grendel’s mother and bring peace to the Danes. Lastly, during Beowulf’s reign as king of the Geats, he slayed a dragon that had brought much destruction over the land. Although this battle cost Beowulf is life, it is the most prolific case of his heroism; he sacrificed his own life to protect the lives of his people. ...
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... melts at the touch of her blood. If Beowulf did not have the strength to slay her with one strike, the second sword would have been rendered useless and Beowulf could easily have met his demise. Beowulf his victorious by his strength and his strength alone. A major theme within the text is that the only one a hero can rely on is themselves.
The poem contains a plethora of symbolism, motifs, themes, and underlying messages. To insinuate that the epic is simply about killing monsters and Beowulf’s heroic adventures is fallacious. Beowulf includes an internal struggle of identity, a deep revelation Beowulf’s heroic nature, an interesting fatal flaw, and an intense support of self-reliance. Although the majority of the book includes the slaying of monsters, it is the messages that these monsters convey and represent that manifest themselves into the meaning of Beowulf.
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