Being born a demigod, he exemplifies the power and leadership of the gods before him (The History Channel, 2014). Of course, he also shows leadership in his moral decisions during the war against the Trojans. This is shown by his sense of grief and mercy when he is faced with the Trojan king, Priam (Fiero, 84). Achilles is also very moral in the way that he strictly follows the rules of the gods. While his story occurred so many years ago, his legacy has come to influence many people in today’s age.
When measured by that criterion, Sir Gawain stands out above Beowulf as a true hero, due to his command of both personal and spiritual power through the use of thought, as well as valiant deeds. The character of Beowulf stands as a hero to the ancient Danes because of his actions. He is constantly being cited as a "war-chief" and a "gold-giver" (61). Beowulf has achieved fame through what he has done with his own hands. His identity as a leader is based upon the Danish society’s emphasis on personal action, as opposed to the delegation of responsibility through conscious thought.
Unlike most kings his takeover of the kingdom did not come from heredity directly but because of the people's choice, and for the people he continues to fight for, even until death. Because of his bravery, his leadership, and his commitment this encouraged the movement from hero to a king. Each king through out the story was known for their good works among the people and all of the battles that they have accomplished. "So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by and the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness.
Beowulf possesses several distinct traits that allow him to be defined as an ideal epic hero and Anglo-Saxon hero. He is courageous, loyal, wise, and physically powerful. Beowulf puts himself through difficult situations just to keep his people safe from evil. He battles Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon for his people, though he does it for honor as well. Beowulf shows honor in all of his acts, but he is constantly seeking fame and glory through all of his accomplishments.
An epic hero is a brave and noble character in an epic poem, admired for great achievements or affected by grand events. In the epic poem of Beowulf, the main character exhibited many characteristics that would label him as an epic hero. Beowulf overwhelming strength, bravery, and skills gave him a huge advantage over his opponents. His power was unmatched by any of his opponents but his cockiness and tendency to head into battle alone ultimately led to his demised. Beowulf is a well known figure and his legacy continued to impact the world even after his death.
Heroes in epics typically exemplify the values of a particular culture, and the eponymous protagonist of Beowulf is no different. Because Beowulf represents the ideal Anglo-Saxon warrior and king, readers can infer that his personality traits are those that were held in high esteem by members of Anglo-Saxon society. As depicted in Seamus Haney’s translation of Beowulf, Beowulf’s strength, loyalty, and acceptance of fate are traits that were admired by his society. The time of the Anglo-Saxons was rife with tribal warfare. This meant that men were expected to be strong fighters capable of protecting and avenging their people.
He also learned a lesson from his mistakes which ultimately creates a catharsis in the reading audience. Beowulf, on the other hand, is characterized by the standards of an epic hero. He strives for excellence and individual glory by doing heroic deeds. He has an admirable set of ethics, is great warrior, and is very loyal to his master. Beowulf is also rewarded for his deeds with fame and fortune.
Beowulf is a good example of a hero, because he stared terror in his eyes and saved his land many of times. Beowulf additionally showed bravery, strength, and leadership because he was definite that he would defeat Grendel. Beowulf has all of the distinct qualities of a hero and that is why he is a perfect example of a hero. Beowulf displays his strengths in both the poem and the movie during
“With God's assistance this foreign prince has performed a task that we, with our deep wisdom and cunning, attempted in vain.” (Chapter 14). Again, Beowulf illustrated an ideal hero, because god had been alongside with Beowulf throughout the poem. Aside from faith, Beowulf also allowed fate to take over the results of his battles. As Beowulf was prepared for his battle against the dragon, he explained “…let fate decide our doom as it will, our destiny---fate, and almighty God.” (Chapter 35). Since fate had resulted to permit Beowulf to wins in every battle he encountered, Beowulf was destined to become a hero.
As is with Beowulf, he is known throughout the lands. His fame helped him tremendously in becoming this hero. His courageous fights and accomplishments led to his known defeats in battle with huge and fierce monsters. After his death, his people promised him a tumulus to be built in his memory so he could be remembered. Not only did his people hear his request, but they honored it as well.