Beowulf: An Epic Hero
Something that is extraordinary must come from a superbly made original. This is true with the subject of the epic hero, and more specifically with the work of Beowulf. Beowulf, which is the oldest surviving epic in Anglo-Saxon literature, is a rich fabric of fact and fantasy. Written by an anonymous scop in 6th century A.D., Beowulf tells the story of a protagonist who rids lands of monsters and all things evil. The main character, Beowulf, is an epic hero because he fulfills the Anglo-Saxon traits of strength, nobility, and courage. Three specific examples of these traits that occur in the poem are Beowulf's battle with the monster Grendel, Beowulf's battle with Grendel's mother the Sea-Hag, and finally his last encounter with the fire breathing dragon.
A hero is a person noted for their act of courage and the nobleness of their purpose. The hero of an epic poem embodies the ideals of conduct that are most valued by the culture in which the epic was composed.
Beowulf is described as a perfect hero who fights for his people and vanquishes evil with his extraordinary abilities to bring peace and justice. Three of Beowulf's traits that support this are his amazing physical strength, his nobleness and decency toward people, and his fearless and courageous nature.
Beowulf is a hero in the eyes of his fellow men through his amazing physical strength. He fights in numerous battles and returns victorious from all but his last. Beowulf is strong enough to kill the monster Grendel, who has been terrorizing the Danes for twelve years, with his bare hands by ripping off Grendel's arm: "He [Grendel] twisted in pain, and the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder snapped, muscle and bone split and broke" (105-108). This feat of great...