Is Beowulf a Epic Hero?
What is an Epic Hero What is a hero? There are many heroes in today’s society both fiction and nonfiction. When hero comes to mind many people think of superman or fictional characters that have supernatural powers and can save the world. Others think of real life heroes as extravagant and outgoing as mother Theresa or as simple and humble as a teacher. There is a potential hero in everyone, but what distinguish a hero are the unique characteristics he or she displays, like the ones Beowulf display, but in their own distinctive forms.
Beowulf is a hero known for his great leadership as well as his strength. Beowulf is a highly looked up to individual. He is liked by most and envied by many. He is a fearless individual and believes in fate. Going into battle he knows there is a chance of not returning and, recognizing the fact, he still advances into the dangerous situation. Beowulf is a very arrogant hero. He is the best at what he does and, he is aware of it. He boasts of his greatness, but acts as if he does not speak highly of himself. But, he has every reason to boast.
He is a king and ruler of the land and the only man who is feared by the indestructible. He is a very wise fighter and can destroy anything endangering his path. The title character’s quest is based on his need for glory by saving the kingdom from a series of monsters. The monsters show to have strength like no other, and worry the Kingdom of Hrothgar. Although Beowulf shows no fear, Grendel snaps the doors to Herot with a single touch. These villains showed intelligent, deceitful, and evil. “/that shepherd of evil, guardian of crime,/ (49; lines 325). This is a description of how the town’s people fear these Villains that seemed un beatable . The ferocious dragon’s scales were solid shattering Hruthing. “He raised his sword /And struck at the dragon’s scaly hide. /The Ancient blade broke/(58; lines 687-689). ” Beowulf’s superhuman strength helps to overcome these obstacles. The epic hero has qualities that make them larger than life characters. These Characteristics make them “superhuman”. /The infamous killer fought /For his freedom, wanting no flesh but retreat. . . the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder /Snapped, muscle and bone split/ (50-51; lines 336-337 and 390-391). ” This is a great example of Beowulf’s incredible strength and how Grendel fears for his life. With a simple twist, the arm of the beast was torn from the shoulder causing Grendel to run away to die in piece. The epic hero later shows that he could hold his breath for hours to the lake bottom, to the she-wolf’s den. / “He leaped into the lake, would not wait for anyone’s /Answer the heaving water covered him / Over. For hours he sank through the waves/ (53; lines 467-469). The epic hero shows that he could hold his breath for a long period of time. Beowulf son of Edgetho died fighting the dragon, died for glory. Heroes come in many different forms. They are each different, but their goal is always the same; to protect and help the society as a whole as well as individuals. Beowulf helped his people in a physical manner. Each thought of hero displays all or most of the heroic characteristics, but each in a different way. The known hero’s characteristics, such as Beowulf, prove that he himself is an epic hero.