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.
Also, it is difficult to put the blame on him, since he was acting of the commands of his warrior instinct. However, it overlooks the dwelling fate that the last part of the poem's emphasis to understand Beowulf’s death mainly as a personal failure to himself. The two components throughout the poem is Beowulf essentially shows a record of his heroic deeds, giving him the title of a perfect hero. He attempts to live up to the same standards as his ancestors, so he takes pride in ancestors who have acted valiantly in their duties. The poem contains several situations for which the heroic code offers no practical guidance about how to act when loyalties were divided.
Beowulf "In a world without hope, a brave soul has nothing to lose." In the epic Beowulf, some might perceive Beowulf as having traits such as being arrogant. Although he is raised in a Pagan society, Beowulf concurs many tasks that an ordinary man could never do. He portrays man in general struggling against outward foes and inward doubts. Beowulf displays his characteristics; courage and strength, fame, perserverence, and compassion; which affords him the opportunity to be looked upon as an epic hero.
Beowulf had a direct spiritual connection while Gilgamesh questions the actions and even opposes one of them (Ishtar). Beowulf and Gilgamesh are both deemed heroes. According to heroic ethos, Beowulf proves to be the more valiant, law abiding one. He embodies the necessary characteristics of the Anglo – Saxon/Germanic hero (courage, loyalty, and greatness in warfare/battle). However, it can also be argued that Gilgamesh is a great hero because of his divergence from the classical heroic model.
In Beowulf the poem, Beowulf is considered to be an epic hero, he is different than just a regular hero. At the time, except for the King, warriors were the most honored and respected. Throughout this poem the author expresses that Beowulf is a true epic hero. What makes an epic hero? An epic hero must undertake a quest to achieve something tremendous value to his nation, must be super-human, and protects his people and their ideals.
Beowulf as Epic Hero Epic heroes usually exemplify the character traits most admired in their societies, and Beowulf is no exception. "Beowulf" is set in the Anglo-Saxon society, a time when war was rampant among the many peoples trying to take over the different kingdoms of England. In this dangerous, violent time people lived in constant peril and jeopardy. These conditions only allowed people of great bravery to survive and men of outstanding courage were admired the populous. These warriors fought for their leader and tribe in return for treasure and protection.
It is in this way that Yossarian forces the reader to redefine their notions of the typical hero, as one who seeks little more than self-preservation. In sharp contrast, Beowulf seemed to have been created with the sole purpose of living the life of a warrior. His feats of strength and courage were staggering. However, he also exemplifies the personal, and often endearing, traits that we seek in a stereotypical hero. He is loyal, courteous, and conscientious.
Beowulf Character Analysis The cocky, fame-seeking main-character, Beowulf, is most known for his preposterous adoration for himself and his strength, which is later magnified by his remarkable defeat of the terror and antagonist, Grendel. Beowulf is depicted as a particularly arrogant, yet strong, young warrior who is loved by some, and loathed by others. A character analysis of Beowulf reveals his spirit of adventure, bravery, and his peers’ views of his arrogance. Beowulf possesses all of the characteristics of the ideal hero. The poem emphasizes Beowulf’s heroism in two separate stages in his life: his youth and in his adulthood.
The story of Beowulf is one of the oldest examples of what society views as a hero. Though the story was written in Anglo-Saxon times, the credentials one would need in order to be considered by society a hero remain the same. The Anglo-Saxons believed that a hero was strong and courageous, but humble and kind as well. They also believed that a hero was intelligent and dignified, in which he would fight until death in order to defend his people. In Beowulf and Grendel, directed by Sturla Gunnarsson, Beowulf is depicted as caring, compassionate, noble, and understanding, which makes him seem as if he had every trait of a true hero.
Before Beowulf reigns as king, there are important characteristics that he exemplifies that lead one to believe his true nobility and future as a renowned King of the Geats. Beowulf is courageous, strong, knowledgeable, and respectful of his people. These characteristics contribute to Beowulf’s classification as a true epic hero. Beowulf’s efforts confirm his promise to the Danes. Determined to help his people, overcome obstacles, and lead his land to victory, Beowulf keeps his word; making him completely deserving of honor.