Beowulf The Anglo Saxon Hero Essay

735 words - 3 pages


The epic poem Beowulf describes the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. The hero, Beowulf, is a seemingly invincible person with all the extraordinary traits required of an Anglo Saxon hero. He is able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself. He encounters many monsters and horrible beasts, but he never fears the threat of death. His leadership skills are outstanding and he is even able to boast about all his achievements. Beowulf is the ultimate epic hero who risks his life countless times for glory which to him meant eternal life.

Beowulf is a hero in the eyes of his fellow men through his amazing physical strength. He fought in numerous battles and returned victorious from all but his last where he lost his life. In his argument with Unferth, Beowulf explains the reason he lost a swimming match with his younger opponent Brecca. Not only had Beowulf been swimming for seven nights, he had also stopped to kill nine sea creatures in the depths of the ocean. Beowulf is also strong enough to kill the monster Grendel, who has been terrorizing the Danes for twelve years, with his bare hands by ripping off his arm. When Beowulf is fighting Grendel’s mother, who is seeking revenge on her son’s death, he is able to slay her by slashing the monster’s neck with a Giant’s magical sword that can only be lifted by a person as strong as Beowulf. When he chops off her head, he carries it from the ocean with ease, but it takes four men to lift and carry it back to Herot. This strength is a key trait of Beowulf’s heroism.

Another heroic trait of Beowulf is his ability to put his people’s safety before his own. Beowulf’s uncle is king of the Geats so Beowulf is sent to help rid the Danes of the evil Grendel. Beowulf risks his own life for the Danes, asking help from no one. He realizes the dangers but fears nothing for his own life. After Beowulf had served...

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