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Beowulf, an Epic Hero

An epic hero is defined as a larger than life hero who embodies the values of a particular society. Commonly epic heroes have superior strength, have strong love for their people, are fearless of death, and are very ethical people. 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 epic hero. Beowulf is a perfect example of an epic hero who is a representative of his time because of his super-human strength, his strong love for the people, his fearless of death, and his ethical personality including his strong moral characteristics common of his time. It is obvious that Beowulf has super-human strength because he kills Grendel with his own bare hands. Grendel had been terrorizing the Danes for twelve years and none of them could defeat Grenadel with weapons! During the battle with Grendel, Grendel notices Beowulf’s extraordinary strength: “[Grendel] Knew at once that nowhere on earth Had he met a man whose hands were harder; His mind was flooded with fear- but nothing could take his talons and himself from that tight Hard grip” (p. 33, 433-437). To proclaim his victory and triumph over evil, Beowulf hangs an arm of Grendel’s, which he savagely ripped from the beast, from the ceiling. Later, Beowulf goes on to kill the Grendel’s mother, who is even more viscous than Grenadel. In the battle with Grendel’s mother there is yet another example of Beowulf’s super-human strength when Beowulf lifts a huge, massive sword and kills Grendel’s mother with it. It is said that the sword was so massive that no ordinary man would have the strength to lift it. Beowulf also boasts of his strength many times throughout the poem. For example, in his argument with Unferth, “But the truth is simple: No man swims in sea as I can, no strength is a match for mine” (p. 28, 265-267). Beowulf then goes on...

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Beowulf, an Epic Hero. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 05:24, August 23, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/21698.html