Even though Beowulf is quite the hero, he is also illustrated as being extremely prideful. During the Anglo-Saxon period, character traits that were most common for a hero is a rather egoistical and boastful which Beowulf has. He is more interested in his honor as a hero that he is even willing to take on any task without a real fear of death. The poem explores his heroism in two separate phases, the younger Beowulf and the older one, and through three different, but increasingly difficult conflicts with Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. These time periods in his life, correlated with two contrasting standards of integrity.
Beowulf displays his characteristics; courage and strength, fame, perserverence, and compassion; which affords him the opportunity to be looked upon as an epic hero. With a lack of courage, not many can accomplish much. As Beowulf travels, his courage not only grows but stands strong. In his journey to Hrothgar's kingdom, Beowulf is faced with many unbearable tasks many men wouldn't dare to go up against, but with Beowulf, he takes those tasks and runs with them. His fight with Grendal not only proves his courage but his strength as well.
When legends are told throughout the world about heroes, the picture that we have of that hero is someone like Beowulf. However, the reason why we see Bilbo Baggins as a hero is because he is so similar to the rest of us. He portrays the average person but Bilbo has gone the extra step. He takes risks and faces battles that seem impossible to conquer. This is why we he is a hero.
In addition, his self assurance and known bravery probably guided his decision. Beowulf’s spirit of adventure gained him a lot of fame; however, it could have gotten him into danger, if he were to have taken an adventure too far. Beowulf used his strength for respect and recognition. As he became older his great strength was beginning to become weak. The weakness of his strength and the lost battle against Grendel’s mother was overwhelming to Beowulf; however he realized that his time was over and he would be remembered as a great hero in all battles he won.
Furthermore, these heroes had to meet also specific criteria. The definition of an ancient time hero is very different than a hero today. Above all, he should be a skilled warrior, who had to respect authority, both governmental and religious. Around the time that the epic called "Gilgamesh" was written heroes were considered to be the men who helped or did virtuous deeds for many people. The Mesopotamians thought a hero was someone with courage and bravery, who rise above all of the normal people.
Sir Gawain also participates in challenges that define his character. Sir Gawain was indeed a hero, but he was mostly concerned with maintaining his reputation, which sets him and Beowulf apart when it comes to being the most ideal hero. Beowulf and Sir Gawain are both models of strength and bravery as they achieve deeds in order to bring glory to their king. As both men try to establish a heroic title, Beowulf gained better recognition because he was a hero to his not only his king, but to his entire society.
One of Beowulf?s main qualities is his strength. He has a grea... ... middle of paper ... ...angerous fights. Although Beowulf knew he would die if he tried to fight the dragon, he still fought. His courage kept him going and that is what completes a hero. Beowulf had plenty of courage, most men his age would have backed down and not fought, but Beowulf being the brave man he was, stood up in hopes to still protect his people.
Life has been completely turned around and nothing could ever be the same. A hero isn’t just a person with powers and costumes. He or she is a person who puts dedication and heart into helping out others. For example, I would consider my best friend Isaac a hero because he looks out for me even when he has lots of things going on. He has completely changed my life because without him I wouldn't know how to stand up for myself and to watch for who i surround myself with.This is important because it shows that being an archetypal hero takes many stages to succeed in being accomplished.
The main difference between the two is that Beowulf is a great warrior and Hrothgar simply isn’t. This doesn’t mean that Hrothgar is a terrible king, but when compared Beowulf can be seen as a much stronger leader. Over time, Beowulf matured as an exemplary leader, able to make hasty decisions for the better of his subjects, stemming from the core traits gained and developed from being a great warrior.
The stories describe two very different heroes. Beowulf was undoubtedly a hero, but as time advanced and the world became more complicated, what constituted a hero became more shady; therefore, while he is not anything like Beowulf, Sir Gawain is also in fact a true hero. 	Beowulf is a hero. That is an undeniable fact. His heroic image stands out notably because Beowulf is what could be called an active hero while Sir Gawain plays the part of a passive hero, but still a hero nonetheless.