Beowulf--unknown author...this is a paper on beowulf that tells how he is an epic hero

Essay by iluvincubus2002High School, 12th gradeA, March 2002

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The earliest recorded epic poem, Beowulf, was anonymously written during the Anglo-Saxon era (approximately 700AD). The Anglo-Saxons admired epic heroes who upheld the ethics of their society through exemplary leadership, loyalty, strength and bravery. These epic heroes prevailed over insurmountable odds, and were glorified by the people who progressed because of their victories. Beowulf, the hero in this literary piece, did as such, and he ultimately surpassed the qualities of being an epic hero. Accordingly, heroes and epic heroes alike gained the praise and respect of their subjects as well as their enemies. To be labeled a hero, one must put aside his personal welfare for the good of others. Heroism may be accomplished by an ordinary person performing an extraordinary deed; however, to be an epic hero like Beowulf, one must enforce the ethics set upon him, and be willing to consistently sacrifice himself to defeat whatever distresses his people.

?Lucky or not, nine was the number of sea-huge monsters I killed. What man, anywhere under Heaven?s high arch, has fought in such darkness, endured more misery, or been harder pressed?? (Line #307). Beowulf wanted to be looked upon as superior in strength. Any hero needs strength in order to be of value. Before a new conquest, he would often sing his own praises of how there is no stronger or greater warrior than he. Beowulf had the power to rip off, with his bare hands the arm of Grendel, the first monster encountered. This unbelievable strength also enabled Beowulf to cut off the head of Grendel?s mother in her underwater lair with a sword no ordinary man could even carry alone. The endurance to swim across a sea for five nights was only one other attribute of his. ?My people have said?They have seen my...