Epic of Beowulf Essay

Epic of Beowulf Essay

Length: 1526 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Beowulf


Word has traveled across the seas to Geatland of a great disturbance in Heorot. A threatening creature has befallen on Hrothgar, King of the Danes, and his people. In no time, a Geat by the name of Beowulf arrives at Heorot. However, why would one man, an unpopular man at that, not known of possessing any strength or talent, travel a great distance to offer his services to the Danes? Textual evidence provides that Beowulf, although he proves himself brave and strong, expresses his ego through boasting of his epic deeds, illuminating on his strength and wit. In addition to feeding his ego, it can be proved that Beowulf is out to make a legend of himself since he comes from a broken lineage, and in the time of the Danes and Geats, lineage was vital. Simply, Beowulf comes to Heorot for the purpose of personal gains and not to help Hrothgar and his people.

When Beowulf first arrives at Heorot, and meets Hrothgar, he wastes no time persuading the Danes of his talent and begins his boast. For example, on page 41, in The Norton Anthology of English Literature Volume 1A, Beowulf states, “So every elder and experienced councilman among my people supported my resolve to come here to you, King Hrothgar, because all know of my awesome strength. They had seen me bolstered in the blood of enemies when I battled and bound five beasts, raided a troll-nest and in the night-sea slaughtered sea-brutes,” (lines 415-422). This claim he makes is contradictory due to the claim that his people, the Geats make, “He had been poorly regarded for a long time…and their lord too had never much esteemed him in the mead-hall. They firmly believed that he lacked force, that the prince was a weakling,” (p.79, lines 2183-2189). It ...


... middle of paper ...


...ath leaves my body for murder of kinsmen.

In conclusion, Beowulf left the world as a legend, and “Beowulf the king had indeed met with a marvelous death,” (p.96, lines 3036-3037). Beowulf did not have to die that day. He chose to fight the Dragon on his own, thus assuring his death. Heroes always die a glorious death. Beowulf felt that in order for him to be remembered for the rest of time he needed to not only defeat Grendel and Grendel’s mother alone, but also defeat a Dragon flying into a certain death, solo. Beowulf was out to prove himself a strong, witty, brave warrior and he did indeed succeed. Additionally, he succeeded in feeding to his insecurities by boasting about his epic deeds. Beowulf will be known in the land of the Danes and the Geats as an epic hero for all time, even though Beowulf came to their rescue and aid for purely selfish reasons.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Beowulf Is An Epic Hero

- ... In this poem the supernatural beings are God, who is on Beowulf’s side and Grendel, who is the monster that Beowulf has to defeat. Unlike the Greek epics, Beowulf has only one God that helps the hero in his journey and that God does not actively participate in the hero’s quest. Hrothgar says, “Now Holy God has, in His goodness, guided him here.”(381-382). God only leads Beowulf to his fight and does not actually help him to defeat his opponent. Another characteristic of an epic that shows up is writing in an elevated style....   [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Supernatural, Hroðgar]

Powerful Essays
781 words (2.2 pages)

Essay Beowulf as an epic

- Beowulf Beowulf is the single greatest story of Old English literature and one of the greatest epics of all time. Ironically, no one can lay claim to being the author of this amazing example of literature. The creator of this poem was said to be alive around 600 A.D. and the story was, since then, been passed down orally from generation to generation. When the first English monks heard the story, they took it upon themselves to write it down and add a bit of their own thoughts. Thus, a great epic and the beginning to English literature was born....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Free Essays
683 words (2 pages)

Beowulf is an Epic Hero Essay

- A true hero does not fear death or, but instead risks all that he is for what he believes to be right, moral, and just. Beowulf is an epic and tells the story of a legendary hero, conquering all obstacles as if he was immortal. Up until the end of Beowulf’s life he was constantly looking to be the hero. However, his humanity is exposed by his death. Heroes all share the characteristic of their willingness to die in their effort to accomplish their heroic act, thus making the act in itself heroic....   [tags: The Epic of Beowulf]

Powerful Essays
951 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Beowulf as an Epic Hero

- What are the qualities of an epic hero. An Epic hero is a hero on a quest, with superhuman powers displaying courage, generosity, and loyalty. Translated by Burton Raffel, the epic story Beowulf is one of the best and well known epics of its time. In the novel Beowulf the epic hero Beowulf shows characteristics of courage, physical strength, loyalty, self-confidence, and wisdom, much like heroes today. In the epic Beowulf, the title character, shows his physical strength and courage in several ways....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Free Essays
588 words (1.7 pages)

Beowulf is an Epic Hero Essay examples

- Every epic hero possesses certain heroic characteristics. The epic poem Beowulf describes the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. Beowulf is the hero. He shows that he is a great man by always putting other things before his own needs. He is important and needed by his people and is known by many as a strong, courageous and a helpful person. He shows all of the qualities and traits that a true hero possesses. Beowulf, like other epic heroes, possesses the following heroic qualities: epic heroes are superhuman types of beings....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Powerful Essays
459 words (1.3 pages)

Essay about Beowulf - An Epic Hero

- Beowulf An Epic Hero Beowulf: An Epic Hero Being a hero can be defined many different ways. Several qualities like courage, respect, and strength can define heroism. A hero is noted for his or her actions for being brave, powerful, and acting with honor. In the epic poem, Beowulf, the main character Beowulf shows all of these characteristics by defending the Danish king, Hrothgar, and his people. He is a true hero by honoring his country and exerting his power and strength to protect others....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Powerful Essays
695 words (2 pages)

Beowulf is an Epic Hero Essays

- In the epic poem Beowulf a hero emerges after the passing away of another. An epic hero must undergo a dangerous journey and faces an enemy that threatens a nation or tribe an epic hero also embodies and represents the most cherished values and ideals of a society. The character Wiglaf demonstrates the characteristics of a true hero, and gradually emerges as a hero through out the epic Beowulf. Through out the story Wiglaf proves himself to be the successor of Beowulf by embodying various characteristics such as loyalty, devotion to others, courage and bravery ....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Free Essays
415 words (1.2 pages)

Beowulf As An Epic Hero Essays

- Every epic hero possesses certain heroic characteristics. Beowulf, like other epic heroes, possesses the following heroic qualities: epic heroes are superhuman types of beings. They have a noble birth and show great bravery. They display great intelligence and resourcefulness. They have a reverence for G-d and for the values of their society. They are dominant male figures and suffer severe pain, but in the end, they conquer evil (Vivone 9/27/99). In addition to Beowulf’s heroic qualities, he is very strong....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Powerful Essays
986 words (2.8 pages)

Beowulf is an Epic Hero Essay example

- In the epic poem Beowulf, the protagonist Beowulf is shown as a hero with extrodinary strength. This is not what makes him a hero. By definition, a hero is a man of exceptional quality. However this term does not do Beowulf justice. His self-imposed purpose in life is to help others, and eventually sacrifices his own life in doing so. Beowulf’s battle with the dragon serves as a critique of the notion that Beowulf is a hero. The Dragon section displays many of Beowulf’s heoric characteristics. Beowulf establishes himself as a hero by fighting the dragon, exemplifing strength and courage when fighting the dragon, and sacrificing himself so that others can live....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Powerful Essays
864 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Beowulf is an Epic Hero

- Epic battles, terrifying monsters, extraordinary strength, and great leadership; these characteristics and encounters are what make up the epic hero that is Beowulf. The heroism exemplified by Beowulf is defined by many different qualities. Beowulf is truly a hero because he is willing to put himself at great risk for the greater good. Beowulf's defeats of Grendel and Grendel's mother establish him as a hero because he did it to save his people, rather than for his own glory. Beowulf is brought from his homeland to Heorot as an aegis for Hrothgar's people....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Powerful Essays
1399 words (4 pages)