THE EPIC CONVENTIONS IN BEOWULF
Beowulf reflects the characteristics of an epic in many different ways. First, Beowulf fights the sea monsters. “You’re Beowulf, are you the same fool who fought a swimming match with Becca, exploring the deepest seas, risking your lives for no reason but the danger? ” (27,239) Beowulf is a strong and courageous man, that does not fear anything or anyone. “But the truth is simple: no man swims in the sea as I can, no strength is a match for mine” (28,265).
Beowulf hears about Grendel, and as a hero, he goes to the palace to kill Grendel and save the people. “At last that Grendel can be killed” (31,342). Beowulf is determined to kill Grendel, and show that he is the greatest hero. “When we crossed the sea, I already knew that all my purpose was this: to win the good will of your people or die in battle, pressed in Grendel’s fierce grip” (31,364). And he does kill Grendel, proving his words, his courage, and his strength. After Beowulf kills Grendel, Grendel’s mother challenges him.
She appears very mad and angry, but Beowulf does not seem to care. “He leaped into the lake and for hours he sank through the waves” (39,570). Beowulf fights and struggles with Grendel’s mother at the bottom of the ocean until he sees a sword and kills her. “He saw a heavy sword. He drew it from its scabbard, lifted it high over his head and struck with all the strength he had left” (41,633). Fifty years passed, and Beowulf learns that another dragon is attacking the Geats.
Beowulf remembers of his past, when he killed Grendel and the other monsters and decides to go and try to kill this dragon as well. “His weapon had failed him, now when he needed it most, that excellent sword” (43,734). The dragon kills Beowulf without any fear or doubt. “The old man’s mouth was silent and spoke no more” (45,825). Beowulf is a really example of and epic hero. He fought many monsters and dragons without fear, with the purpose to protect the people in need of him.