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. Beowulf encounters three significant events that challenge his strength and validity in which he proves to be triumphant, the battles with: Grendel, Grendel’s mother and lastly the dragon. The two stages of his life, though years apart, correlate to two separate moral principles. As a young warrior, Beowulf is fixated in creating a noble reputation and image; a goal that is achieved through brave and remarkable battles. As old age approaches, Beowulf’s desire for fame diminishes, but he continues to test his strength and fulfill his adventurous personality.
In Beowulf’s youth and early adulthood he is an outstanding and fearless warrior, characterized by his desire for glory and triumphs. Despite losing his swimming match against Breca, he admits his defeat and recovers even more eager to become a hero. Beowulf’s win over Grendel and the defeat of Grendel’s atrocious mother verifies his reputation for bravery and grants him the title of ‘hero’ he’s strived for.
While his cockiness boosts his self-confidence in battle, some of Beowulf’s peers find it to be a flaw rather than an asset. Ecglaf, specifi...
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... for his people.
In conclusion, Beowulf’s character continued to grow and shape throughout the entire play. He began as a young, arrogant warrior only known for his strength and extreme cockiness, to a well-known ruler who was praised for his bravery and compassion for his people and his land. His bravery and strength helped him to victory, and he made sure it was well known. By doing so, he showed his vanity. However, all of his attributes; strength, courage, self-assurance, and love of adventure helped Beowulf for good. As Beowulf aged, he began to realize what really mattered and the insignificance of gaining recognition for his achievements was. He learned the accomplishments that truly deserved praise and recognition would receive it. In the end, Beowulf became a spirited, adventurous, brave, and compassionate ruler who was loved by most, and loathed by others.