why do you think Beowulf is a hero?
Response to each answer these are from a discussion board entitled why do you think Beowulf is a hero?
1)Beowulf has all of the qualities of a traditional hero. In the story he is described as stronger and wiser than other men. He is the also called the “mightiest of mankind” and “noble and powerful.” Beowulf also cares about others and is extremely brave. He travels all the way to another kingdom just to help the people there. In the other kingdom there is a monster that is terrorizing the king and his people. The monster, called Grendel, sneaks into the king’s hall during the night and wreaks havoc. Grendel kills and drags off so many people that the hall is practically empty by the time Beowulf arrives. Grendel’s raids on the hall actually go on 12 years before Beowulf arrives to help. Beowulf ends up giving Grendel a mortal wound with his bare hands. The creature then flys off and dies. Unfortunately, Grendel’s mother comes back to the hall to avenge the death of Grendel. Beowulf defeats her as well. Because he defeats monsters that no one else can, he demonstrates his power and cunning and proves himself a true hero.
2)”Beowulf” is an epic poem identifying Beowulf as the protagonist of the literary work. The poem displays Beowulf’s characteristics through two stages:young and old. There are 3 main points in the epic poem that identifies Beowulf as a hero. As a young warrior, Beowulf displays characteristics of being strong and courageous. He is also noted to be loyal and prideful.These traits are first displayed by him defeating Breca. However his heroism is not determined until he goes to Denmark to defeat the swamp monster Grendal.
Grendal is a swap monster that lives in the swamp lands and has been outcasted by the kingdom. Grendal appears outraged by his denial into the civilian life; therefore, he tortures and kills the Daines of the kingdom nightly. Beowulf fights the swamp monster defeating him. Beowulf provides Grendal’s arm as a souvenir of defeat to the kingdom. However prior to Beowulf departing Denmark, Grendal’s mother appears. Grendal’s mother lives in a lake and displays fewer human characteristics than Grendal himself; however she feels the need to retaliate due to the killing of her son. She comes to the Herot which was built by the king for all the warriors of Denmark. Grendal’s mother kills one of the Kings most worthy prosepcts, Aeschere. She then returns back to her lake home deep in the swamp water. Beowulf goes down into the water and fights her, killing her with a sword. He then decapitated Grendal’s body and brings the head back to Denmark as another sovineir of defeat for the kingdom.
After these two remarkable encounters and defeats Beowulf’s reputation is validated and he is considered to be a hero.
Beowulf returns home where eventually he is crowned king of his homeland. At an old age his kingdom encounters the destruction of a ruthless dragon. Beowulf knows he is getting old and will die soon, so he sets out to kill the dragon. He is assisted by Wiglaf. The dragon is defeated; however, during the defeat the dragon bites Beowulf on the neck leading to his death. Throughout the epic poem Beowulf displays strength and courage; however, Beowulf displays wisdom in his old age. Beowulf was a strong hero with many defeats to prove his herorism; however, Beowulf, was not irrogant and mean as the previous hero’s we have read about. Beowulf was a great hero and continued to display great heroism until he died; therefore, after his death he continues to be displayed as a hero.I really enjoyed the character of Beowulf because he was so strong and crougeous but yet he didn’t let that go to his head. He was still loyal and respectful of others, as he carrier his pride.
TEXTBOOKS: Davis, Paul, Gary Harrison, David M. Johnson, Patricia Clark Smith, and John F. Crawford, eds. The Bedford Anthology of World Literature Books One, Two, and Three. Pack A. Bedford /St. Martin’s, 2004. Print.
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