Beowulf:The Birth Of A Hero

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"Beowulf: The Birth of a Hero" Many think Beowulf's primary focus and theme is the battle of good and evil. After some analysis one may find that while this initial conflict is present and important, Beowulf's main focus is on the evolution of Beowulf himself. Beowulf exemplifies heroic traits throughout the poem. However, his values and focus as a hero change as he matures and grows older. As a youth Beowulf begins with heroic ideals, he is strong and courageous but arrogant; in the transition to manhood Beowulf becomes a compassionate and protective hero.

In his youth Beowulf is a great hero characterized by loyalty, strength and courage. The Anglo Saxons placed a great deal of importance on loyalty to family and friends. Because Beowulf's father was an ally of Hrothgar, Beowulf is eager to "go to that famous king/…Now when help was needed." ( Beowulf li 199-201). Even Hrothgar must comment on his loyalty and bravery.

"Now Edgetho's/ Brave son is here, come visiting a friendly/ King" (li 374-376). One can clearly see Beowulf's value of loyalty as well as the traditional heroic ideal of helping someone in need.

In pursuing Beowulf's quest in the name of loyalty, the young hero also illustrates his strength and courage. " Let me live in greatness/ And courage, or here in this hall welcome/ My death" (li 636-639). Beowulf would rather die than to surrender to a challenge, he prides himself in his battles, which he wins alone and with his bare hands. The fact that Beowulf fights battles independently not only requires courage, but strength and self-esteem. Beowulf is the "strongest of the Geats-greater/ And stronger than anyone anywhere in this world" (li 194-195). Yet this strength feeds Beowulf's ego making him arrogant and boastful.

"Great king. They have seen...