Not only his strength but his faith in God guided him through his battles. He chose to protect first and as a young warrior fought to win. A great king is someone who must be for the people, must be liked by the people, kind, generous, brave, and a great leader who attract many followers. Throughout the progress of Beowulf taking over the kingdom these are all the qualities that made him the person that he was. He cared for the people even until his death, and fought the enemies so that his kingdom would be safe.
Beowulf is meant to represent the ideal warrior and king. As such, readers can infer that the Anglo-Saxons held his character traits in high esteem. 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 had to be strong fighters capable of protecting and avenging their people.
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.
Throughout the story, Beowulf handles many tough situations in which he almost always comes out the hero, saving the lives of the citizens. Beowulf pays a lot of attention to the people, and in turn, becomes a strong king with many admirers. “…My purpose was this: to win the good will of your people or die in the battle, pressed in Grendel’s fierce grip.” (634-636) As you can see, Beowulf feels strongly about the people. From this point, you can tell that Beowulf will make a good king, because of his desire to please the people. According to him, it was his main focus of the battle.
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.
This gratitude towards God is also shown in the final moments of his life. Beowulf thanks God for the life he was allowed to lead, and for all the battles that he won because of the grace of God. “For this, this Gold, these jewels, I thank/ Our Father in Heaven, Ruler of the Earth/ for all of this that his grace has given me”(109). This humble attitude is a great asset for a leade... ... middle of paper ... ...fight the dragon. Beowulf understood that the key to being a great leader was selflessness, which is also why he chose Wiglaf, son of Wexstan, to be his successor.
A warrior is responsible for the close friends and family members he may have. The harsher and most barbaric way an enemy is able to slain his foe gives the warrior more prestige within his army. The more ridic... ... middle of paper ... ...r but a warrior that strived for the very best in everything. With this kind of upbringing is there any other way for him to think of what is important in life? If you are conditioned from birth that this is the most important attribute you can contribute to life than would it be consider barbaric?
We do not only look for someone that is sure of his supernatural strength. People today look for a hero that gives them hope and that is admirable because he keeps on struggling to reach his goals. Today a hero must have suffered challenges that make him grow as a better human. Beowulf perfectly fulfills the characteristics of an epic hero because he fight... ... middle of paper ... ...s always talking about his qualities. In conclusion, although Beowulf possessed many heroic qualities he would not be considered a hero in today’s world.
Another trait of the Anglo-Saxon culture is loyalty to a leader. Which is a trait that is still shown today all throughout the world. For example, in the epic poem Beowulf the Geats show their loyalty to their leader when: “Beowulf is fighting with Grendel the Geats have their swords ready” (353-356). With the Geats being ready for the battle if their leader fails shows that they are loyal enough
Hrothgar’s dedicati... ... middle of paper ... ...es Wexston’s family enjoyed, Wiglaf’s mind was made up; he raised his yellow shield and drew his sword” (lines 716-722). Wiglaf’s act of valor in Beowulf’s time of need grants him much esteem. Wiglaf strives to conquer the dragon with difficulty. “But his soul did not melt, his sword was strong; the dragon discovered his courage, and his weapon” (lines 740-751). Wiglaf perseveres through the arduous battle, determined to prevail and attest to his bravery.