The first thing that makes Beowulf an epic hero is his wisdom. In this epic poem Beowulf fight with many characters, that are bigger and stronger than him, but Beowulf wins all these battles through his wisdom. Most of the time Beowulf fights for glory, so he always looks for a battle to fight. That’s how he came to the fight with Grendel, who frightened the whole kingdom of Hrothgar. Many warriors tried to defeat Grendel, but they all failed and eaten my Grendel.
“ The nobel son of Weohstan saw the king in danger at his side and displayed his inborn bravery and strength(lines 2694-2626).... Once again the king gathered his strength and drew a stabbing knife he carried on his belt, sharpened in battle , He stuck it deep into the dragon’s flank. Beowulf dealt it a deadly wound. They had killed the enemy, courage quelled his life; that pair of kinsmen, partners in nobility, had destroyed the foe. So every man should act, be at hand when needed;”( lines 2702-2710). Even though beowulf and wiglaf slay the dragon king Beowulf dies from his injuries.
Then Beowulf sees, “hanging on the wall, a heavy, Sword, hammered by giants, strong And blessed with their magic, the best of all weapons.” Taking the sword and holding it high above his head he strikes the monster in the neck cutting deep into the skin, breaking bones and all. Thus ending his second heroic battle with a mythical beast and proving that he is indeed worthy of praise. Yet, this is not the greatest of his deeds. Then 50 years later an event occurs that undoubtedly classifies Beowulf as a hero. A dragon attacks Beowulf’s kingdom and his terrorizing his people.
After being knocked off of his weary feet, Beowulf pulled himself up and continued fighting. This part of the story proved Beowulf to excel in skill, strength, and courage; just a few characteristics of an epic hero. After getting up, Beowulf discovered a sword hung on the wall, so massive no regular man could lift. The story states, “Then he saw, hanging on the wall, a heavy sword… But so massive that no ordinary man could lift… He drew it from its scabbard, broke the chain… and struck with all the strength he had left” (lns. 530-538).
The dragon knows he is there and breathes fire. Beowulf hits the dragon with his shield and draws his sword, “the old heirloom.” (60) The dragon comes forward, “hastening to his fate,” (60) and breathes fire, but Beowulf is protected by his iron shield. But, “for the first time, the first day in his life, he might not prevail, since fate did not assign him such glory in battle.” (60) Beowulf strikes the dragon so hard with his sword, that the “edge failed.” (60) The “war blade had failed, naked at need, as it ought not to have done, iron good from old times.” (60) *The sword is given living qualities* The poet reminds the reader that “every man must give up the days that are lent him” (60), an elegaic theme that runs throughout the poem. Beowulf and the dragon come together again. The dragon breathes fire again and, for the first time in the poem, “he who before had ruled a folk felt harsh pain.” (60) Meanwhile his men flee to the woods, except for one.
In the epic story of Beowulf, the hero is Beowulf. Beowulf shows physical strength in the story by defeating Grendel. In line 219 of Grendel’s mother, it tells how Beowulf killed her. “…cut it through, broke bones and all.” His strength is also told in line 213 of how he “lifted the sword that was so massive that no ordinary man could lift.” Beowulf’s determination, or his will to win, was throughout the story, even up until his death. A quote that describes this is, “…he cut the beast in half, slit it apart.
During the battle, Beowulf demonstrates his strength as he battles Grendel, “The monster’s whole body was in pain, a tremendous wound appeared on his shoulder.” This quote reveals how strong Beowulf is. When fighting Grendel he ripped his arm out of socket. Beowulf’s use of weapons, his great courage, and strength makes him the strongest warrior around. Beowulf is also portrayed as a skilled fighter, but he establishes his presence during battle. When Beowulf kills Grendel’s mother, he comes back with her head to prove that he has defeated her, and his people look up to him.
Wiglaf was in full strength and was unhurt but all that he could do was stab the dragon. Beowulf, however, was badly wounded, but still managed to provide the fatal slice to kill the dragon. Hrothgar, Unferth, and Wiglaf all relied on Beowulf to kill the monsters that they could not kill themselves. This makes Beowulf superior to them because he obtained the strength, courage, and will that they all lacked. Beowulf is superior to Hrothgar, Unferth, and Wiglaf because he becomes a widely feared warrior and king.
They also had excellent archers who easily defeated many of the French cross bowmen and knights from a distance with a longbow. The English win was enormous, and it is said that "Phillip VI fled the battlefield" (Allmand 15). Jean Froissart helped to to sensationalize and romanticize the battle in his "Chronicles of the Hundred Years War". With this work he helped to create legends about the "Black Prince", Edward III's son who first gained honor through the Battle of Crecy. The work idolizes the warriors who fought in the battles and exaggerates the cowardice of the French.
Beowulf and his most trusted friend Wiglaf defeat the beast, although not without Beowulf being bitten by the beast first. Wiglaf sinks a sword in the dragon 's belly, but this still does not kill the dragon, but rather wounds. Beowulf, with what strength he had left, stabbed the dragon with a dagger and kills him once and for all. Beowulf proves yet another valiant move with the courage he possesses by continuing to fight even when he has little to nothing