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Why Is Beowulf Considered a Hero?

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 07:19 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 72.9 
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Many epics have been written and forgotten. Yet, the epic of Beowulf has stayed as one of the premiere examples of a heroic epic. This brings an inevitable question to mind. Why is Beowulf considered a hero?





In the beginning of the story, a mythical monster named Grendel who is attacking King Hrothgar’s mead hall Herot.   When Beowulf hears of this tragedy, he volunteers to go and fight the mythical beast. The author wrote, “So Beowulf chose the mightiest men he could find the bravest and the best of the Geats, fourteen In all.”   Once Beowulf arrives, he is given a feast and then decides to stay in Herot overnight to confront Grendel. Grendel then arrives and kills one of the Geats before Beowulf can get into the battle. Beowulf then goes hand-to-hand against Grendel and ends up tearing off Grendel’s shoulder.   Grendel then retreats to his lair to die.   This is only a mere example of why Beowulf is a hero.





After Beowulf tears off Grendel’s arm, he hangs it from the rafters of Herot. Grendel’s irate mother attacks Herot and takes her son’s arm and retreats back to her lair.   Beowulf is called upon again to defeat this monster.   Beowulf puts on his armour and takes the sword Hrunting and descends into the monster’s lair.   Grendel’s mother quickly grabs Beowulf and takes him to the battle arena.   Once there, Beowulf fights and finds his sword cannot pierce the monster’s hide.   So once again, Beowulf throws his sword aside and fights hand-to-hand. Yet, he could not defeat her with his hands alone. Then Beowulf sees, “hanging on the wall, a heavy, Sword, hammered by giants, strong And blessed with their magic, the best of all weapons.”   Taking the sword and holding it high above his head he strikes the monster in the neck cutting deep into the skin, breaking bones and all.   Thus ending his second heroic battle with a mythical beast and proving that he is indeed worthy of praise. Yet, this is not the greatest of his deeds.

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