Essay, Research Paper: Beowulf


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Within the first piece of written literature known to man during the early
Middle Ages comes a character which exemplifies the characteristics of a hero. A
hero possesses certain qualities which include the desire to help others,
bravery, courtesy, courage, superhuman feats, and the ability to boast about his
accomplishments. According to English tradition, this hero’s name is Beowulf.
Within the epic poem “Beowulf” there is clear evidence that Beowulf
exemplifies the qualities of a hero which are the desire to help others,
bravery, courtesy, courage, super human feats, and the ability to boast about
his accomplishments. Beowulf possesses the qualities of the desire to help
others, courtesy, and the ability to boast about his accomplishments which
proves he is a hero. First of all, Beowulf lives in the land of the Geats. He
hears from others that Hrothgar, the leader of the Danes, is having problems
with a monster killing off his men for the past twelve years. Beowulf goes to
the king of the Geats, Higlac and asks him to let him take some of the best men
and go over to the land of the Danes to help fight this monster. This proves
that Beowulf possesses the desire to help others. Furthermore, when Beowulf
arrives in the land of the Danes he shows his courtesy by praising Hrothgar of
his noble birth and telling how brave Hrothgar is for his victories in battle.
Beowulf further shows his courtesy when he leaves all his weapons on the shore
of the land of the Danes to make sure the Danes know that he comes in peace.
Beowulf does leave some of his men by his ships to protect them. Beowulf does
everything that Hrothgar’s men ask to show his courtesy. This proves Beowulf
is a hero as he possesses the quality of courtesy. Lastly, Bewulf shows how he
has the quality of a hero in his boasting to Hrothgar. When Beowulf first meets
Hrothgar he tells him how his youth has been filled with glory and that his
people told him he must go and help Hrothgar as he is a great soldier. He drove
five great giants into chains, chased all of that race from the earth, and swam
out of the ocean killing them one by one. This proves that Beowulf possesses the
qualitites of a hero as he is able to boast proudly about all his
accomplishments. Beowulf certainly possesses the qualities of a hero with his
desire to help others, his courtesy, and the ability to boast as well as other
qualities of a hero. Beowulf further possesses the qualities of a hero during
the Anglo-Saxon times as he shows real bravery and courage. Beowulf tells
Hrothgar that he will fight the monster, Grendel, to the end to save
Hrothgar’s mead hall and his men. Beowulf explains to Hrothgar that he will
fight the monster without any weapons and with out any help, proving his bravery
and courage. Futhermore, when Grendel comes again to the Mead Hall as all the
men are sleeping, Hrothgar sees him and stops his men from helping him. He
battles the monster himself and tears off the monster’s arm. The monster runs
back to the sea to die, and Beowulf hangs his arm in the hall to show that they
have won. Grendel’s mother comes to the hall to get revenge for his son’s
death. Beowulf takes a magic sword given to him by Unferth to battle Grendel’s
mother. Beowulf goes into the deep sea, finds Grendel’s mother and with
superhuman strength, bravery, and courage he kills her. This certainly proves
Beowulf has real bravery and courage which heros of the times possesses. The
last quality of a hero is the ability to perform super human feats. Beowulf
performs super human feats along with his courage, his bravery, and his desire
to help others. When Beowulf fights Grendel he does this without using any
weapons only his bare hands. He pulls the monster’s arm right out of its
socket, a super human feat. Plus, when battling Grendel’s mother, Beowulf goes
under the waters of the sea to find the monster’s mother and to kill her with
a magic sword. He completes this feat with super human strength. Lastly, Beowulf
returns to his own land after helping Hrothergar and becomes king of the Geats.
He rules for many years. When he is an old man, his land is ruined by a fire
dragon. This dragon has a great treasure which it is protecting. Beowulf goes
out to fight this dragon to protect his people even though he is too old. While
fighting the fire dragon with his sword, the dragon cuts Beowulf at the neck.
But Beowulf fights back and ends up killing the dragon with one blow of his
sword. He cuts the dragon right in half. The killing of this fire dragon uses
super human feats, courage, and bravery which definitely shows that Beowulf has
hero qualities. To show his honor and concern for others, Beowulf’s last
request is that the treasure of the fire dragon be given to his people and that
a monument be built to show all other sailors the safe way home. This last
request certainly shows Beowulf is a real hero of the Middle Ages. Repeat thesis
- summarize by using all the beginning or opening sentences and a simple example
. Then end with Beowulf proves that heros must have certain qualities to gain
the title of “hero”.
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