Epic of Beowulf

Epic of Beowulf

Length: 1280 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Beowulf, the hero of the epic poem, is not an ordinary man; he is the epitome of a true hero. With the strength of thirty men in one arm, the courage to fight monsters, and the knowledge to respect and consider others' feelings, Beowulf defines the word "hero." As a thane of the Geats' king Hygelac, and later as king of the Geats, Beowulf uses his courage and wisdom to help him win many battles and competitions against humans and monsters.

Beowulf's list of victories consists of his swimming contest with Breca, the slaying of sea monsters, the dismembering of the monster Grendel, decapitating Grendel (or Grendel's mother), and killing the dragon. However, his greatest achievement is not killing monsters, but not letting 'hubris' destroy him. As a good warrior and king, Beowulf always keeps his pledges/promises and obeys the laws of ''comitatus.''

Wiglaf

Wiglaf, a thane of Beowulf's tribe, is another true hero in the poem. Despite the fact that he has never fought in a battle before, Wiglaf does not hide with the cowards while his lord, Beowulf, is attacked by the dragon. Remembering all the treasures and the trust Beowulf has given his men, Wiglaf bravely helps his lord who is in need: "Beloved Beowulf, do all well, for, long since in your youth, you said that you would not let your glory while you lived. Now, great-spirited noble, brave of deeds, you must protect your life with all your might. I shall help you." (Norton, 61) By helping Beowulf, Wiglaf also obeys the laws of comitatus and is greatly rewarded by Beowulf for his loyalty and love.

Dragons

They are often portrayed as evil and dangerous monsters, who eat people and burn homes. This view of the dragon is a direct result of the influence of Christianity and the Bible. In the Bible, the dragon is another name for the Devil, Satan himself, the archenemy of God and Jesus. Therefore, in a Western, Christian-based society, the dragon is viewed as an ally of the Devil and an enemy of God. Besides being seen as evil monsters, dragons were also believed to have treasures, such as gold or ancient artifacts in their lair. It is for one such treasure that the battle between Beowulf and the dragon starts.

The Battle

Beowulf, King of the Geats, who is now over seventy years old, fights his last battle.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Epic of Beowulf." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Feb 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=42196>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay about Why Is Beowulf An Epic Hero?

- Why is Beowulf an epic hero. An epic instance of commitment might be An instance of dedication around a mission, to superhuman qualities indicating valor, generosity, Additionally resolve. Deciphered by burton Raffel, those epic story beowulf will make a champion around the general population best known stories from guaranteeing its occasion when. In the novel beowulf the general population. Epic legend beowulf uncovers to qualities over intensity, physical quality, commitment, bravery, in addition understanding, fundamentally like legends today....   [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Novel, Superhuman]

Research Papers
977 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Beowulf Is An Epic Hero

- Beowulf is an Old English epic poem that centers on a hero named Beowulf who defeats monsters with the inhuman strength given to him by God. Lines 371- 455 are about Beowulf presenting himself to Hrothgar in order to slay Grendel. These lines focus on the characteristics of the epic poem, show that Beowulf is an epic hero and empathizes the difference between Beowulf and Grendel and how God relates to them. In an epic there are six important characteristics: it has to have a hero, involve a demonstration of superhuman abilities, have a large setting, include supernatural beings that guide or hinder the hero, have an elevated style of writing, and is told by an omniscient narrator....   [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Supernatural, Hroðgar]

Research Papers
781 words (2.2 pages)

Beowulf : The Epic Hero Essay example

- Beowulf In the Anglo-Saxon epic poem of Beowulf, Beowulf is highly regarded as an epic hero; the poem itself is consisted of songs of glorification about him. During his era, Beowulf was very famous amongst his own people and others due to the fact that he has achieved great things. He has travelled and gone through many adventures which has greatly boosted his fame across the land. His character and personality, along with his great strength, has made him into an epic hero. Beowulf was a character that was given or blessed by the gods to the people during his time to be a saviour against evil and to become a just ruler....   [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Hero, Grendel]

Research Papers
1323 words (3.8 pages)

Is Beowulf An Epic Poem? Essay

- Is Beowulf an epic poem. This should not even be a question because it is so obvious that Beowulf is an epic poem. All of the characteristics of an epic poem is in Beowulf. In an epic poem the hero should be from a noble birth and of great and historical importance, also the hero traits reflect qualities important to the society that he is from and performs courageous deeds, even superhuman that reflects the values of the era. All of this is in Beowulf epic poem and there is much more that prove that Beowulf is an epic poem....   [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Greek loanwords, Homer]

Research Papers
1348 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Beowulf : The Epic Hero

- The epic poem, Beowulf, was written in the Anglo-Saxon period and entails a story of an epic hero who is depicted as a hero of great strength, power, and other abilities people don’t normally posses; however, in the finality of epic poems, the epic hero will fall tragically. Knowing this, it proves and reminds the readers that an epic hero is still human. Beowulf is structured into three parts: the battle with Grendel, Grendel’s Mother, and the dragon. Each section is surrounded around Beowulf and his actions, and they all show the epic hero’s moral choices....   [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Greek loanwords, Fiction]

Research Papers
1008 words (2.9 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]

Research Papers
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]

Research Papers
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]

Research Papers
695 words (2 pages)

Related Searches

A dragon has burned his land and his hall. With no volunteers to stop this dragon, Beowulf himself makes a 'boast,' or a promise, to his people that he himself will stop this evil spirit: "In my youth I engaged in many wars. Old guardian of the people, I shall still seek battle, perform a deed of fame, if the evil-doer will come to me out of the earth-hall" <<>(Norton, 59) Armed with his mail-shirt, an iron shield and a sword, Beowulf challenges the dragon to a battle. With all his experience and courage, even Beowulf is not able to defeat the dragon single-handedly. The dragon, with its flames, seriously wounds Beowulf; it is the "good shield [that] protected the life and body of the famous prince" (Norton, 60). With his sword having failed in its duty, Beowulf is defenseless against the flames of the dragon. Wiglaf, seeing his beloved lord wounded and near death, courageously goes and helps Beowulf. The two warriors manage to defeat the dragon but Beowulf is mortally wounded. Beowulf's defeat and death are unavoidable, "...since fate did not assign him such glory in battle" (Norton, 60). In fact, from the beginning of the passage, Beowulf's death is foreshadowed, "Beowulf spoke, for the last time spoke words in boast..." (Norton, 59)
Return to 123HelpMe.com