Honor and bravery are character traits that people around the world aspire for. Authors also attempt to capture these assets with characters in their books. These qualities are what make a hero, and Robert Nye captured that spirit with Beowulf, in the book Beowulf: a New Telling. Throughout the book, Beowulf demonstrates his honorable behavior on his adventures. He exhibits honor when he decides that an evil-doing man should still get a proper burial, and “[Buries] Unferth’s head. He [is] a person to be pitied. ” (42).
This example shows that Beowulf is honorable because he shows pity for a slain man, even though the man vas extremely rude and uncouth. Also, he is honorable because after he won spoils from killing the monster Grendel, he proves his loyalty by declaring, “You are my king and I am your man. All that I [win], I [win] as your retainer. ” (83). This quote shows that Beowulf is honorable, because instead of keeping the treasures he wins, he gives them to his king. Beowulf is a character who does all that is moral, and never inhonorable.
Also, Beowulf constantly demonstrates his bravery with valiant and heroic acts. One way he shows his courage is that when he is warned by a coastguard who thinks there is nothing anybody can do about the monster; Beowulf boldly declares he is “come to do what [he] can against the demon Grendal”(22). This quote shows Beowulf’s bravery because even with the warnings that Grendal has killed many men before him, he still ventures on without fear. Another daring act of Beowulf happens when he is at the mouth of the Firedrakes sinister lair, and has “come to quench him” (98).
This example shows Beowulf’s courageousness because he is not afraid to fight the Firedrake, even if he has to bring the fight to the fiend. It is clear that Beowulf is a very brave and daring hero. However, other people think that Beowulf is an evil individual. Those few think that Beowulf’s method of slaying the Firedrake by having “hundreds of bees, stinging it from the inside” (100) was malicious and unnecessary. However, without Beowulf’s method with the bees, the monster would never have been slain.
If the Firedrake remained alive, it would kill many more innocent people. While some might disagree, it is obvious that Beowulf is a brave and valiant character, not a brutal murderer. Without a doubt, Beowulf is honorable and brave throughout the book, and is very heroic. Some people could think that his ways of killing monsters are merciless and cruel, but it is clear that he is only using these techniques to keep others safe. Beowulf’s great qualities of honor and bravery are what make him a true hero.