Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 11th gradeA-, January 1996

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In epics, the main character is usually a hero. This is a person who expresses courage and superhuman strength. These people are recognized as the epitome of all people in this time. In Anglo-Saxon literature the role of a hero is to protect good.

There were many great pieces of literature during Anglo-Saxon times. Perhaps one of the best was Beowolf. In this story the main character is Beowolf, a man who protects the Herot from a terrible monster, and later on in his life protects his own castle. Beowolf is a hero who represents good in this story.

During Beowolfs time people spoke very highly of heroes. An example from the story of Beowolf protecting good is when the king is speaking of him. He says of Beowolf, 'Until that curving prow carries/Across the sea to Geatland a chosen/warrior who bravely does battle with the/creature haunting our people, who survives/that horror unhurt, and goes home bearing/our love.'(208-212)

The king speaks of Beowolf as a great hero and hopes that he will be able to defeat Grendel, the monster that has been terrorizing Herot.

Before his confrontation with Grendel, he did many other things to assist his people. An example of him doing this is when he speaks of himself killing the giants and wiping them off the earth. He says, 'They have seen my strength for themselves,/have watched me rise from the darkness/of war, dripping of my enemies' blood/I drove five great giants into chairs, chased/all of that race from the Earth.' (246-250) Beowolf proves his strength to others and to himself.

In his fight with Grendels' mother Beowolf proves many things. An example of Beowolfs heroism is when he is battling her. 'That mighty protector of men/meant to hold the monster 'till its...