Beowulf : An Epic Hero

978 Words Mar 3rd, 2016 4 Pages
Beowulf is a character that exudes the qualities of an epic hero. Throughout this epic, Beowulf is seen as a hero to many and a major threat to the evils he encounters. The values of the Anglo-Saxons, who would have read and admired this poem, included loyalty, bravery, and honor. Beowulf’s character exemplifies all of these qualities to the highest degree. The values and traditions of the original composers of this story cause Beowulf’s character to be the perfect example of an Anglo-Saxon epic hero.

There are specific characteristics of epic heroes that are common throughout many folk epics. Epic heroes are known to be larger-than-life figures, usually of noble or semi divine birth, who use their courage and skill against evil forces, go on quests, and accomplish valorous deeds. Beowulf is a character that fits the definition of an epic hero perfectly. In each part of this poem Beowulf shows himself to be the hero his people need. There are many examples of each characteristic throughout the epic.

The poem describes Beowulf as “greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in this world” (lns. 110-111); this quote presents evidence of Beowulf having the characteristic of being a larger-than-life being. Another example of this characteristic is when he explained why he is worthy of fighting Grendel. Beowulf talks of his time in war, how he cleared the world of giants, and how he swam and hunted monsters out of the ocean. When he goes to fight Grendel’s…

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