An epic is a long poem, usually derived from ancient oral stories, describing the adventures and deeds of a legendary hero. Typically, most epics follow a pattern or hold certain characteristics. These characteristics are; a hero, a quest, valorous deeds, divine intervention, and great events. The hero is usually the protagonist which is sent on a quest. As the heroes proceed on their quest, they will exhibit valorous deeds or actions that show their magnificent abilities. Epics also intertwine great events to set the theme of the story. Some of these events develop from myths or cultural aspects. Lastly, the hero must undergo divine intervention, or the help from a person or supernatural force. One of the most well known Anglo-Saxon epics is Beowulf. The story of Beowulf contains all of these characteristics, along with the values of the Anglo-Saxons.
The values of the Anglo-Saxons can best be described as The Heroic Code. This Code of Honor was the ruleset every warrior was to follow. The warriors were to be brave, honorable, truthful, and loyal. Beowulf perfectly exhibits these values, making him a great example of an epic hero.
The poem starts off with the introduction of Grendel, a beast originating from the cursed family of Cain and Abel. Because he is an abomination that has been exiled from man by God, Grendel lives in the darkness. He constantly hears the sounds of celebration coming from the mead hall full of warriors causing him to cringe. The demon waits till darkness has fallen, then he strikes on the slumbering soldiers. He slaughters thirteen men and takes them to his lair, leaving a trail of blood from behind. In the morning Hrothgar, the warriors’ lord, mourns over his lost men. Grendel continues to at...
... middle of paper ...
...In honor of him, he stays and takes up arms. Together, Wiglaf and Beowulf slay the dragon, but the king is severely wounded. However, he asks Wiglaf to bring him the dragon’s spoils. When Wiglaf returns, he tells him that he is now in reign of his people and the treasure should be used as a memorial for himself. The great warrior passes, and his men build the tower just as he requested. The warriors then tell their favorite stories about Beowulf, mourning his loss, and stating that no better king has ever lived.
Beowulf devoted his whole life to those in need. He showed no mercy against any that opposed him. He died doing what he did best; defending his people. The memorial that was left in honor of him will forever remind those of his honor, bravery, courage, and loyalty. All of which prove his status as an epic hero and a symbol of the Anglo-Saxon traits.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Beowulf, written between the 8th and 10th centuries, is an epic poem set in southern Sweden. The poem illustrates the Anglo-Saxon’s strong belief in the heroic code. The loyalty between the warrior and his king bound the culture together. The warrior was the ultimate hero who represented strength and courage. Beowulf, the hero in the poem, illustrates the Germanic principles of the heroic code. Through the battles and character interactions, Beowulf converges loyalty, strength, courage and forgiveness into the hero archetype.... [tags: heroic code, god]
1145 words (3.3 pages)
- Beowulf's fight with the dragon is a puzzle. On the surface, it appears to be the hero's final victory, and a fitting end to his noble life. Yet, the circumstances surrounding the battle – Beowulf's disregard for his thanes' advice and the Geats' bleak future without their king – raise pointed questions about Beowulf and his motivations. No where else in the poem are the hero's actions portrayed as anything but right and good.ǂ Not surprisingly, this issue has drawn considerable critical attention.... [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]
1771 words (5.1 pages)
- Thesis: - Without defeating Grendel, Beowulf would have never been considered a hero. Therefore, Beowulf would have been deemed as a liar for his whole life and he would have never been made the king of Geatland. BEOWULF. Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares the man it has not already marked572 573 This qoute says that bif your fate hasn’t been decided yet you have the chance to create your own destiny. He says this while he was fighting with breca in the water Yet the prince of the rings was too proud to line up with a large army against the sky-plague.... [tags: Beowulf, Hero, Hroðgar, Heorot]
1324 words (3.8 pages)
- Ancient epics, the stories of heroes and villains, battles of good against evil, creation myths and morality tales, fascinate and intrigue us as a curious species. Passed down orally for millennia before first being recorded on any stone, papyrus, or parchment, these ballads of ancient oral tradition take us away from our ordinary lives and delve us into worlds of legendary figures. Beowulf, the saga of one such hero, most likely finds its origin around the 7th century, and the only known text of the epic was first written down in the 11th century by Christian scribes.... [tags: Beowulf, Grendel, Hero, Hroðgar]
1142 words (3.3 pages)
- Beowulf. When most people hear the name they tend to think about his battles and fighting. However, the majority of people would overlook the traits of how Beowulf exemplifies the Anglo-Saxon culture. For instance, throughout the epic poem, Beowulf, it shows the culture of the ANglo-Saxon by how the characters show their love of glory, loyalty to a leader, and their belief in fate. Throughout the epic poem, Beowulf shows his love for glory by fighting for his kingdom. Beowulf was Geatland’s greatest warrior which means that he was always thirsty for a battle.... [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Anglo-Saxons, Hero]
1048 words (3 pages)
- Beowulf as Heroic Archetype Monsters, their mothers, and dragons. The epic poem Beowulf, author unknown, includes all these mystical creatures and an impervious protagonist after which the poem is named. As the main character in the poem, Beowulf exemplifies the heroic archetype physically, spiritually, and ethically. Beowulf is superior to the average person in many areas, among them physical strength. Throughout the poem, Beowulf accomplishes feats that no other man would be able to survive and proves his boundless might.... [tags: Epic Beowulf herobeo]
687 words (2 pages)
- Vengeance and Revenge in Beowulf The oldest of the great lengthy poems written in English and perhaps the lone survivor of a genre of Anglo-Saxon epics, Beowulf, was written by an unknown Christian author at a date that is only estimated. Even so, it is a remarkable narrative story in which the poet reinvigorates the heroic language, style, and values of Germanic oral poetry. He intertwines a number of themes including good and evil, youth and old age, paganism and Christianity and the heroic ideal code, into his principal narrative and numerous digressions and episodes; all of which were extremely important to his audience at the time. Vengeance, part of the heroic code, was regard... [tags: Epic Beowulf essays]
1317 words (3.8 pages)
- On the surface, the poem Beowulf seems to be a simple tale of a brave hero who triumphs over three monsters and who engages in several other battles in order to preserve what is just and right. A more thorough reading, however, reveals that the epic poem is filled with events that symbolize historical and social conditions that prevailed during the European reign of the Scandinavians in the seventh century to around the ninth century, following the Danish invasion of England (Sisson 1996). Analysts additionally point out that Beowulf’s author was a person who has a “strong sense of cultural diversity” (Frank 1982: 52).... [tags: Epic of Beowulf 2014]
1490 words (4.3 pages)
- Anglo-Saxon History and Beowulf By definition the word “hero” might be interpreted in one of four ways. First off in mythology and legend, a hero is often of divine ancestry. He is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods. Secondly, a hero is a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life. Thirdly, a hero can also be described as a person noted for special achievement in a particular field.... [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]
1592 words (4.5 pages)
- Religion in Beowulf The famous poem Beowulf was written sometime in the eighth century by an unknown poet. It was based on legend passed down over time. Prior to the time the poem was written, Anglo Saxons had converted from Germanic Paganism to Christianity. Some people argue that it was a Pagan poem rewritten by a person or persons educated in Christianity. “ has come down from heathen times and acquired its Christian character gradually and piecemeal from a succession of minstrels.” ( Hector Monro Chadwick as quoted by Brodeur 182), while others believed that Christianity and Paganism both belonged in the poem.... [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]
1044 words (3 pages)