Beowulf as a hero in modern society.

Essay by jon123456 September 2005

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In the historic epic Beowulf, its title character, Beowulf, is perceived as an unconventional as well as a traditional hero in current society. Beowulf, the son of Ecgtheow and Hygelac's thane, is presented as a fearless warrior to the audience. This acknowledgment of Beowulf causes the readers to instantly recognize that Beowulf is a well-respected man. Beowulf's magnitude is seen at the very beginning of the poem as the narrator states, "The man whose name was known for courage, the Geat Leader" (Heaney 25). Beowulf is announced to the Danish people with magnificence. Before proving Beowulf's heroic qualities, the viewers are conscious of the fact that Beowulf is a great warrior and the son of a well admired man. It can be distinguished that from Beowulf's opening statements he will become a hero.

Bravery is a key characteristic that identifies a hero. Throughout the entire poem Beowulf appeared to possess infinite valor.

He displayed courage in his swimming competition with Breca, and in his fights with Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon that fatally wounded him. In all of Beowulf's struggles, he revels wisdom, strength, and motivation. In his clash against Grendel, Beowulf utilizes his sheer strength to kill Grendel. He used his mighty strength to rip off the monster's arm from the shoulder. As stated by the narrator, "The monster's whole body was in pain; a tremendous wound appeared on his shoulder... Beowulf was granted the glory of winning..." (Heaney 55). The defeat of Grendel fulfills Beowulf's heroic duty. This is also seen with Grendel's mother. After Grendel's death, Grendel's mother desires to avenge her child. Beowulf fights her in water and still prevails. By keeping true to his word Beowulf is able to prove his worth. Near the...