Beowulf: The Epic Hero
Beowulf is an epic hero as he fulfills all the requirements of an epic hero. First, Beowulf is of noble birth as he is the Prince of the Geats and the nephew of his king. This satisfies the need for a noble person. Second, Beowulf is of historical or legendary importance as he is the focus of the epic poem Beowulf and is believed to have been a real person by some people. The focus on him and belief that he was real makes him legendary and important to come cultures.
Third, Beowulf has character traits that reflect the societal ideals of the Anglo-Saxon period. Many admired him for his outstanding courage in battle. Beowulf was fiercely loyal to his king and to the Danes’ king. Beowulf’s king and the Geat’s king were generous to Beowulf and rewarded him with riches. Beowulf himself was generous to his followers and gave them land, wealth, and jewels. The main value that Beowulf represented was that he only ever battled for the fame it would bring him, never just to battle something or someone.
Fourth, Beowulf repeatedly performs deeds requiring great courage and strength.Beowulf shows incredible courage and superhuman strength during his fight with Grendel, fighting without a weapon, seizing Grendel’s claws, preventing the monster from escaping, and tearing one of Grendel’s arms off. Finally, Beowulf performs actions that determine the fate of the Danes. However, some may say that Beowulf is not an epic hero because he seemed to fight more for the ideal of gaining glory for himself. While he did fight to gain glory for himself, he also fought to bring glory to his people and the kings he was under the rule of.
He brought glory the kings because his actions reflected back onto King Hrothgar and Beowulf’s uncle as his actions showed they both had a great warrior. In conclusion, Beowulf is an epic hero of the Anglo-Saxon time-period because he exemplifies everything that makes up an epic hero and brought glory to his leaders.