The Ideal Hero in Beowulf Essay

The Ideal Hero in Beowulf Essay

Length: 1078 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Classifying whether or not Beowulf is an ideal hero, one would have to understand the definition of an ideal hero, and then the decision and whether he has any flaws within this understanding can be made. Beowulf identifies many traits to allow the reader to make his own assumption on this epic poem. According to the dictionary, “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities” (dictionary.com?) is the proper guideline to determine if a character is an ideal hero or not.
To begin, Beowulf exhibited many characteristics that suggested proper heroic qualities. “ He was strong, an outstanding fighter and very loyal to all who came into his presence” (Killenbeck, and Orci). When Beowulf had to present himself to kill Grendel, he made sure he did it with the upmost care to the people, their belongings, and Heorot. The people of Heorot, which made his determination to defeat Grendel even more powerful, invited him into a great feast before the battle. After he defeated the great Grendel, he was praised for his work and this only made Beowulf more loyal to these people of Heorot. Another great heroic aspect of Beowulf was the fact “he believed that no fighter should have the upper hand” (Killenbeck and Orci). Any fight that took place was thought to be as fair as possible. When Beowulf had to fight Grendel he knew that
Neeley 2
the dragon had no extra equipment to increase his chances of conquering, therefore Beowulf didn’t take on any extra equipment and believed, “when it comes to fighting, I count myself as dangerous any day as Grendel” (Beowulf, line 677-678). Both Grendel and Beowulf believed they were excellent warriors and were ready to prove it. “Venturing closer, his talon was rai...


... middle of paper ...


...his change within, but they still had faith. Beowulf was their ideal hero and despite his imperfections, they believed in him until the very end.




Works Cited
“Beowulf.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volume A: The Middle Ages, 8th ed. Ed. Greenblatt, Stephen, and M.H. Abrams. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006. 34-100. Print.
"hero." Dictionary.com. dictionary.reference.com. 2011. Web. 21 Feb. 2011. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/soldier
Killenbeck, Matt, and Rick Orci. "Literary Hero: Beowulf." The My Hero Project. Stephanie Cole, 01 Jul 2004. Web. 14 Feb 2011. http://myhero.com/go/hero.asp?hero/asp?hero=beowulf
Zaragoza, Dianna. "Beowulf: A Hero for Today?." associatedcontent from yahoo. Dianna Zaragoza, 31 Ja 2007. Web. 14 Feb 2011. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/131699/beowulf_a_hero_for_today.htm l?cat=9

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Beowulf: The Ideal Anglo-Saxon Hero Essay

- Originating in the Anglo-Saxon period, the epic poem Beowulf portrays a legendary hero. Beowulf established the earlier form of heroism, and was then later introduced in to the English culture. Praised and admired by many people, Beowulf possesses several distinct traits that allow him to be defined perfectly as an ideal Anglo-Saxon hero; his eagerness to seek glory and fame, rather than richness and treasures, his loyalty and graceful attitude not only to his rulers but also to his followers, and his contradictory beliefs of faith and fate In the Anglo-Saxon society, an ideal hero does not seek riches of gold and treasures; instead, he seeks fame and glory through his accomplishments....   [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon]

Strong Essays
864 words (2.5 pages)

Beowulf - The Ideal Hero Essay

- Achilles, Beowulf, Gilgamesh, Samson and Heracles can all be characterized as heroes. However, each of these characters embodies different attributes that earn them the heroic distinction. This paper will seek to show that Beowulf is the “most” heroic figure based on his adherence to the heroic ethos. Also, the character of Gilgamesh will be used as a means of comparison to further showcase the heroic nature of Beowulf. The heroic ethos is a set of values that prioritize and glorify the valor of an individual....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Strong Essays
1925 words (5.5 pages)

Essay on Beowulf as the Archetypal Germanic Hero

- The epic and oral poem Beowulf illustrates a loss of community, cultural values, and tradition. Beowulf, the main character, is an ideal king and archetypal warrior. History is relevant to Beowulf; this Germanic society was being taken over by Christian missionaries who were seeking to convert this culture. The character of Beowulf is a reflection of the Germanic culture's virtues; heroism is emphasized in the text's multiple references and constant focus on heroes and what it is to be a hero. Beowulf, who is reflective of an older generation of heroes, strives for community....   [tags: Epic Beowulf Hero Essays Papers]

Strong Essays
2093 words (6 pages)

Beowulf : A True Hero Essay

- A true hero has no fear. A hero would risk himself for what he believes to be right and to protect others. I think of someone who, in my opinion of others, has heroic traits or has performed a brave act and is regarded as a representation or ideal is a hero. Heros always have people to look up to him and will always excel when the going gets treacherous. Beowulf is a good example of a hero, because he stared terror in his eyes and saved his land many of times. Beowulf additionally showed bravery, strength, and leadership because he was definite that he would defeat Grendel....   [tags: Beowulf, Grendel, Hero, Grendel's mother]

Strong Essays
1164 words (3.3 pages)

Beowulf, By Seamus Heaney Essay examples

- Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf captures the magnificent strength and glory of the hero Beowulf as he saves Hrothgar’s kingdom from the wrath of Grendel and his mother. In this section of the poem, Heaney retells Beowulf’s final fight, one with a treasure-hoarding dragon, as well as the last words he utters to his fellow warrior Wiglaf as he dies from the dragon’s venomous bite. The scene is an exuberant, almost chaotic display of great heroism and courage, however; it is also symbolic – Beowulf’s battle with the dragon, as well as his interaction with Wiglaf, illustrate the core beliefs and values of Anglo-Saxon culture, which include, but are not limited to honor, loyalty, fate, le...   [tags: Beowulf, Hero, Warrior, Courage]

Strong Essays
1021 words (2.9 pages)

Epic of Beowulf Essay - Beowulf as the Ideal Anglo-Saxon

- Beowulf as the Ideal Anglo-Saxon Beowulf is a hero who embodies the ideal characteristics in the Anglo-Saxon culture; these characteristics all come together to make up an epic tale. He possesses the virtues, traits and beliefs that were respected in the Anglo-Saxon culture. Beowulf displays these virtues in his own actions and words during different circumstances throughout the tale. Beowulf was "the strongest of the Geats" and also "greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in this world"....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essay]

Free Essays
560 words (1.6 pages)

Beowulf : The Hero 's Journey Essay

- He is known as the son of “ A noble warrior- lord name Ecgtheow” or as “The Great leader”. Beowulf saying in a boastful manner to king Hrothgar of Denmark,“Because all knew of my awesome strength. They had see 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 417-421) from Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney. From this quote you see what Beowulf is know for. Which is being a archetypical hero....   [tags: Beowulf, Grendel, Beowulf, Heorot]

Strong Essays
1115 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Comparing Beowulf And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight

- uring the Middle Ages, two poems, Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight embody heroic figures. Beowulf, who demonstrates all the characteristics of an ideal hero, is faced with physical challenges that no other man could face during his existence. Beowulf was not only looking to become a hero, he wanted to reveal the importance of establishing identity. However, Beowulf was not the only hero during this time period. Sir Gawain also participates in challenges that define his character. Sir Gawain was indeed a hero, but he was mostly concerned with maintaining his reputation, which sets him and Beowulf apart when it comes to being the most ideal hero....   [tags: Beowulf, Hero, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]

Strong Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Beowulf: A Hero

- Beowulf: A Hero Beowulf is a hero during the Middle Ages because of his generosity, strength, power, and courage. A hero is one who places himself or herself at great risk while performing acts of courage. Beowulf is a hero that put his life on the line for an entire kingdom. He has heroic and superhuman qualities. He must prove his worthiness of a superior warrior. He is recognized for his strengths and power of protecting his people. Beowulf is faced with three forces to fight, Grendel (a monster), Grendel?s mother, and the dragon....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Strong Essays
798 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on A Summary of the Epic of Beowulf

- In the epic poem Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, we follow the heroic and adventurous life of a Geat warrior named Beowulf. The novel essentially begins when Beowulf arrives in Denmark to defend King Hrothgar’s (lord of the Danes) mead hall from a ferocious creature of the night named Grendel. After defeating Grendel and later his mother Beowulf is considered a hero by all. His name is known far and wide, and he pledges allegiance with Hrothgar and returns to his native country. Here his lord dies and he is named king....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Free Essays
426 words (1.2 pages)