Essay on Heroism in Beowulf

Essay on Heroism in Beowulf

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Superman, Spiderman, and Batman are heroes! They possess the two traits that are needed in western civilization to be considered a hero: wisdom and fortitude. These modern heroes have wisdom and fortitude. Did Beowulf possess these traits? Beowulf shows he is a hero through both his wisdom and fortitude throughout his adventures. Beowulf is a great hero because he possesses both wisdom and fortitude.
Wisdom is one of the traits of hero, but what is wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to make the right judgment, the right decision, because the situation is fully understood. A wise person has a complete understanding of the situation and makes the soundest decision for the best result. The connotation for a wise person is a person that is powerful and always makes the correct choice. When reading about kings the word wise is almost always followed by the word powerful. Beowulf was a wise and powerful king, is a sentence that could easily have been written by an ancient Geat.
Most people know what wisdom is. On the other hand though, why is it valued so highly in western civilization? Wisdom is a building block of western civilization. Wisdom was valued even in ancient Greece. Socrates was known as the wise scholar. Wisdom has always been a trait that people have admired. Wisdom is admired because wisdom leads to make right choices in life. A wise person would know when to push their luck or when to back down. The complete understanding of a situation is a very desirable trait for all people.
There are countless examples of Beowulf proving that he is a wise person. For example, in Beowulf’s fabled fight with Grendel Beowulf waits until Grendel has killed several men before rising to the challenge of fighting G...


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...dragon. His fortitude was probably told about in the songs the Geats sang around their mighty leader’s tomb. Beowulf also faced death and still had the fortitude to do what was needed. When he knew he was fatally injured, Beowulf told Wiglaf to govern his nation and protect them (Beowulf 59). To not despair at his own death and to rise above that personal problem and put his nation first took strength beyond what any man has. It took the strength of a hero.
Beowulf clearly showed that he was truly a hero because he had wisdom and fortitude. There are many types of heroes and Beowulf may not be a hero like Superman or Spiderman, but there is no doubt that Beowulf was a hero beyond compare. Many of the above examples heroism were closely related, this is because a true hero needs to be able to have the wisdom to know what to do and fortitude to do it.


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