Courage and Beowulf
Andrew Nairooz Mrs. Fontanilla English IIIA Oct 18 2010 Beowulf Beowulf is a universal example of what a hero is. In the epic, Beowulf translated by Burton Raffel, the main character encompasses all of the ideals that make a legendary hero who they are. For this reason, the Anglo-Saxon story has carried on for many centuries. Beowulf’s virtues make him a leader and one to look up to. Among Beowulf’s many valuable virtues was fearlessness, strength, and selflessness. Fearlessness has two “positives”. It unsettles humans, as well as, makes one not afraid of the slightest thing. And armor, against this monster: when he comes to me I mean to stand, not run from his shooting flames, stand till fate decides which one of us wins. My heart is firm,” (636). Beowulf’s will to stand in front of a fire-breathing dragon, shows his fearlessness and not only does he stand without an ounce of cowardliness, but he also gives his fellow warrior, Wiglaf, the courage to fight. “I swam in the blackness of night, hunting monsters out of the ones killing them one by one; death was my errand and the fate they earned” (250).
The quote represents Beowulf’s fearlessness towards death and fate. He believed that his fate was to instill death upon those who deserved it and he had no fear of death himself. Strength was one of Beowulf’s key assets. His strength made him very respectable among his people. “In his far-off-home Beowulf, Higlacs follow and the strongest of Geats-greater and stronger then anyone anywhere in this world. ” (110). The quote tells how strong Beowulf is and because he is so strong, he has many followers. “May purge all evil from this hall.
I have heard, too, that monsters scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. ” (261). Along with physical strength, comes mental strength. The quote explains how Beowulf’s physical and mental strength is all that is needed to overcome the monsters he faces. Beowulf’s strength was one of his key assets. Selflessness is simply putting others above oneself. In Beowulf’s case however, he puts his life on the line for his men. That is what makes him such a legendary hero. “I sold my life for this treasure, and I sold it well.
Take what I leave, Wiglaf, lead my people. Help them; my time is gone” (820). In the quote, Beowulf tells Wiglaf to take care of his people because he gave up his life for them and cannot leave them without a leader, so he passes down his role to Wiglaf. “Then Beowulf rose, still brave, still strong, and with his shield at his side, and a mail shirt on his breast, strode calmly, confidently, toward the tower, under the rocky cliffs: no coward could have walked there! ” (650). Beowulf put his life on the line for his people.
He marched and made his way to fight the great fight, to save his people, and to forever leave Herot without fear. Beowulf was indeed a true selfless hero. Beowulf is a perfect example of a true legendary hero. He composes all the main virtues that one must consist of. The Anglo-Saxon story has stuck around for many centuries passing down the story so others can strive to be like Beowulf. Some of Beowulf’s most important virtues are fearlessness, strength, and selflessness. One should look to Beowulf as a role model and one to truly want to be like.