In the poem Beowulf, Beowulf does shares a similar characteristic with a hero. He is kind to others. After Beowulf fights the dragon, he speaks to Wiglaf his final words and wishes. Beowulf requests, “Now that I have bartered my last breath to own this fortune, it is up to you to look after their needs” (807-809). Even during Beowulf’s last moments, he still cares for his people and makes sure to take care of them. This action shows true strength and shows that Beowulf is a hero. On the other hand, Beowulf is not like a hero. In this story, Beowulf goes to Hrothgar to kill the Grendel. The reader may think this is a heroic act, but it is not. A typical hero goes and slays the monster to help the people, but Beowulf does this for fam...
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...ulf’s careless decisions in battles lead to his death. Again, this evidence confirms the idea that this poem is not of a hero but a man, and that is tragic enough.
Overall, the poem is not about heroism but the tragedy of men. Beowulf is like a hero by annihilating monsters, but he also demonstrates other characteristics that are not heroic. He does kindness only for fame and not just to help others. With his resume of killing many monsters, Beowulf becomes prideful and declares he can kill Grendel with his bare hands. This pride does lead to his downfall. Beowulf starts to make unwise actions and starts to almost rely on luck. Because of his foolishness, Beowulf dies. Tolkien is right that Beowulf has purpose for today. These details show that Beowulf is not like a hero, but as a prideful, mortal man. Since Beowulf is a mortal man, he is not a hero but a tragedy.
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