Beowulf the Epic Hero
Who is Beowulf, that makes him such a person to be called an Epic Hero? As a mortal human being who was born and raised in Geatland, he lives his life in the poem with greatness in loyalty for himself and his people The fact that he has accomplished many substantial triumphs during his existence, makes it clear on who he really is as a person and as a hero. Throughout the poem, Beowulf does his best to succeed and stay on top of the “ladder”.
As he battles against certain monsters, the readers can visualize the actual strength that Beowulf attains. With his honorable skills and morality, Beowulf lives as an Epic hero because of his deeds and endeavors. Without them, of coarse Beowulf would not be considered as a larger-than-life, impressive individual. Beowulf’s physical and spiritual achievements are revealed many times during the story. These fulfillments signify and point out his strength made inside him as well as out.
It is his duty as a warrior to gain a tenacious and steadfast personality in life. By this, Beowulf as a person has to grow and develop physically to gain the stamina in his body to fight as a hero. In lines 228-230 of the poem it proves that “People have said, the wisest, most knowing and best of them…” was mainly Beowulf. Examples of this are shown when he fights Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and then the fierce dragon; which eventually kills him. Because of his courage and power, basically to his people, Beowulf is a beloved leader.
As stated in Beowulf , the Geats were, “Telling their Soorow, telling stories of their dead king, and his greatness, his glory, praising him for heroic deeds, for a life as noble as his name. ”(p. 77, lines 1125-1128). Primarily this shows the spiritual advancement of Beowulf because his people are glorifying him not just like a King but mainly a God. When Beowulf dies, his funeral was planned and he was cremated. After this event, the people of Geatland cried for his spirit and physical body to be brought back to life.
These actions show the consequences of how great Beowulf achieved his goals. As Beowulf battles many creatures, he usually fights and succeeds alone. This is another point that proves him as an Epic hero. Although he does have others to back him up on the journey, when facing the real trial of the battle, Beowulf is the one to defeat and destroy the enemy. This is one characteristic of an epic hero, the fact that Beowulf has bravery to fight on his own.
Partaking in many over the top fights you see that in some way Beowulf feels immortal because of who he is compared to other civilians. One fact that proves Beowulf wants to succeed alone is to prove to Higlac that he is a strong person of the Geats. In lines 265-268, Beowulf says, “ And if death does take me, send the hammered mail of my armor to Higlac…Fate will unwind as it must! ” Tough as it might be to defeat Grendel; Beowulf feels it is his destiny and “fate” to kill Grendel and his mother by himself.
So with this, Beowulf is one who needs no distraction fearlessly fighting the bad ones to excel in bravery and strength. No matter how many times Beowulf gets injured, fighting is how he shows his skills as an epic hero for one land and one people… The Geats. And by the end when Beowulf fights the dragon and feels that his time has passed to live on this earth, he realizes that he can, “…Leave this life happy; The Lord has never watched me wash my sword in Blood Born of my own Family…Death will be softer, leaving life and this people I’ve ruled So long…”(Lines 963-973).
Beowulf has acknowledged that he is soon to die, but looks back at his past and realizes that he has succeed in his mission as a warrior by himself. As a connection with the whole epic poem, one comes to know that Beowulf ‘s main goal all in all is to live as a hero. It was his bliss or happiness that made Beowulf who he was before his death. Beowulf died knowing that he had done his job as a person for others that one can rely on. He was proud of how he fought his enemies and the people he had saved, which is a fulfillment that made him satisfied. Beowulf Spoke…knowing he’d unwound his string of days on earth, seen as much as God, would Grant him; all worldly pleasure was gone, as life would go, Soon. ”(p. 73 lines 946-951). Seeing that his life is soon to be gone Beowulf was thinking of God, and how much he granted Beowulf with strength, “worldly pleasure”, as well as bliss. When he was soon to die worldly pleasure was not there, but he still felt that he had lived his whole life to his highest potential, and came to realize that he is like everybody else; he is mortal and is going to die.
And being mortal, one need feeling such as happiness and with that, Beowulf took the steps to follow his own path, follow his instincts as a human, and grasps the key to fulfill his dream in becoming an Epic hero for all. In conclusion, these many traits and characteristics truly make Beowulf an Epic Hero. Beowulf is a hero with distinctive qualities in strength, bravery, and helpfulness. And what makes Beowulf and epic hero as well is how he dealt with his death. The intrepidity inside him and the fact that he did not fight back his destruction makes him a qualified hero without fear.
This type of heroism, to care for the life of others more than your own, was a thought that stuck to Beowulf always. He defended his land, protecting civilian after civilian, during this Anglo-Saxon period. Finally when push comes to shove, Beowulf is an epic hero because of his true morals, and the thought of putting others first. With these great necessities we come to see that Beowulf can be an example for all people, in becoming a courageous person, which eventually can turn out to become an ambitious hero.