Essay, Research Paper: Beowulf As A Hero

Literature: Beowulf

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Beowulf is “the strongest of the Geats -- greater / and stronger than anyone
anywhere in this world” (ll.110-111). Even though he is famous for his massive
strength, Beowulf has other attributes that are noticeable other than his
strength. These attributes, arrogance, bravery, and a strong love for his people
are what make Beowulf become such a powerful, epic hero. Beowulf is arrogant. He
constantly brags about his supreme strength. The “strongest man alive” lets
people know that he is the most powerful person around by saying, “no strength
is a match for mine” (l.267). Beowulf does not think that he could ever be
destroyed by anything. He obviously never questiones how his fighting ability
would be when he was around seventy. Since Beowulf is convinced that God is
watching over him, his ego makes him act as if he is invincible, because of the
idea that he has a guardian angel. But, as Beowulf gets older, wiser, and fights
in more battles he should realize that there was a possibility that he can die.
Beowulf also boasts about his many battles, and is proud of himself for winning
all of them. One of these triumphs is the battle in the water when he meets up
with nine sea monsters which he killeds, and fights with a monster that is
digging its jaws into Beowulf’s flesh. Beowulf proclaims that “ I fought
that beast’s last battle, / left it floating in the sea” (ll.290-291). This
epic tale reads that while Beowulf is in battle with Grendel’s mother, all he
cares was about the fame he would get for defeating her. Unferth thinks that
Beowulf was arrogant, by saying, “ You’re Beowulf, are you the same /
Boastful fool who fought a swimming / Match with Brecca” (ll.239-241). Yes,
Beowulf is a boastful fool that loves the attention that his strength gives him.
A strong man and an arrogant one, Beowulf is also brave. Even after all of the
horror stories that he hears about Grendel, he still fights the cursed beast
without any hesitation. When he battles with Grendel, he does it without the
things that everyone else would use--weapons. This shows that Beowulf is not
scared of anything in the world. He also must be brave to fight a sea monster
after swimming in the ocean for days. He went straight into battle exhausted,
from the strenuous journey across the ocean. The bravery that he possesses,
along with an arrogant mentality that no one can defeat him keeps Beowulf from
quitting at a time that anyone else would. In addition to being brave, Beowulf
thinks of his people all of the time. Even when he was not a member of the clan,
he still fought for them. He cares if they are being terrorized or killed, and
shows his love by endlessly going into fights, each battle tougher than the one
before. Even when he is dying after his battle with the dragon, all that he
thinks about is the treasure that his clan would be able to use to their
advantage. The leader of the Geats even thanks God for letting him help his
people while he lived. He gives them the bravest leader under him in Wiglaf,
which was the best gift for his people, since like Beowulf, Wiglaf was brave. To
be a real hero, Beowulf needs to have some kind of personality to make him a man
of epic proportions. Beowulf is arrogant, but through all of his arrogance, he
still has a kind heart, is brave, and cares for his people. A person who upholds
these qualities is truly a hero and a great example for all of mankind to look
up to. People in this world should also mold their hearts after a person like
Beowulf, because even though he is not perfect, he still strives to be the
strongest, and has the biggest heart known to Herot, and the world.
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