Beowulf – Hero of the Geats
“Beowulf,” is an epic poem that takes place during the 6th century. In this poem, Beowulf, a true hero of the Geats, comes to the help of Hrothgar, the King of the Danes, whose mead hall is attacked by a vicious monster known as Grendel. Once Beowulf kills him, Grendel’s mother attacks the hall and is then also beaten by Beowulf. Victorious, Beowulf goes home and later becomes King of the Geats. After about fifty years, Beowulf overthrows a dragon, but is brutally injured in the fight.
Throughout the poem, vengeance is portrayed by several of the characters such as Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. Grendel hates nothing more than the merriment happening in the mead hall. Grendel seeks revenge in “Beowulf” because of the loud, and obnoxious amounts noise that has been coming from Heorot. Grendel waits for all of Hrothgar’s warriors to fall asleep, and then attacks the newly built mead hall. Quickly, Hrothgar and his people retreat from the hall, and Beowulf and his men quickly step in. “When it comes to fighting, I count myself as dangerous any day as Grendel.
So it won’t be a cutting edge I’ll wield to mow him down, easily as I might, (Heaney 47)” is what Beowulf says as he awaits Grendel to attack for a second time. As the night goes on, Beowulf and his men are woken up by another attack by the cruel Grendel. Without any weapons, Beowulf and Grendel have a battle. Once Beowulf pulls off the arm of Grendel, the beast attempts to go home, but cannot make it, and he slowly dies. Grendel’s mother is just as heinous as her son.
When Grendel’s mother finds out about the killing of her son, she immediately seeks revenge. Where she is hiding, glutting on the corpse and the glorying in her escape, I cannot tell; she has taken up the feud because of last night, when you killed Grendel (Heaney 93)” just comes to show that Hrothgar’s warriors are expecting Grendel’s mother to attack. She takes a shot at the mead hall and barges in. Retrieving back the arm of her son and capturing Hrothgar’s greatest soldier, Grendel’s mother heads back to her land. Her attempt at revenge did not work out as well as she had planned, because eventually, Beowulf slashes the neck of Grendel’s mother, leaving her dead.
About five decades have passed since Beowulf had destroyed the mother of Grendel. Beowulf is considered to be immortal by his followers, until one more challenge crosses his path. One brave thief has found the dragon’s treasure, and has stolen a golden cup, also known in the poem as a “goblet. ” As revenge, the dragon goes on a hunt, trying to find who stole his goblet. After a while of looking without any luck, the dragon decides to use his fiery breath to burn down everything insight. The dragon even burns down Beowulf’s hall.
Beowulf’s only objective at this point is to get revenge on the dragon by killing it. Eleven of Beowulf’s men, and himself, go out to investigate the location of the dragon. “Men at arms, remain here on the barrow, safe in your armour, to see which one of us is better in the end at bearing wounds in a deadly fray, (Heaney 171)” was stated by Beowulf for his men to stay where they are because he wants to fight the monster himself. When approaching the mighty monster, all of Beowulf’s men run away in fear except one. Beowulf goes in to take on the dragon, but is in need of help.
The one warrior who has not abandon Beowulf has jumped into the fight to aid Beowulf. The “dynamic duo” eventually stabs the powerful animal, killing him. Throughout the poem, vengeance is portrayed by several of the characters such as Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. The saying, “Not all heroes wear capes” suits Beowulf’s characteristics perfectly. Beowulf is truly a hero. No matter how big his opponent is, or how the odds of winning his fights are never in his favor, Beowulf never backs down from his fight because he knows that he has a task to complete.