The Anglo-Saxons’ cultures and traditions are rooted in their beliefs of the perfect hero. Their ideal hero has many key characteristics influenced by their culture including courage, strength, bravery, thick skin, loyalty, humbleness, and the ability to create strong trustworthy friendships. Beowulf is an epic poem that exhibits the ideal Anglo-Saxon hero. The Anglo-Saxon traditions illustrated in Beowulf accurately represent the Anglo-Saxon traditions of the time period. This is accomplished through the distinct correlation of heroic characteristics between Beowulf and the culture’s traditional depiction of an Anglo-Saxon hero.
The most heroic of traits within Beowulf is that he is not afraid to die. He always explains his death wishes before going into battle and requests to have any assets delivered to his people. “…and if death takes me…send to Hyglac the best of war clothes that protects my breasts, finest of male shirts. It is a legacy of Hrethel, the works of Weland. Fate always goes as it must.” He is aware of the heroic paradox; he will be glorified in life or death for his actions. He knows that when he fights an enemy like Grendel or Grendel’s mother he will achieve immortality as the victor or the loser. “I resolved when I sat down in the sea-boat with my men, that I should fulfill the will of your people or else fall in slaughter. I shall achieve a dead of manly
A hero is defined as “a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character,” says dictionary.com. During the whole book Beowulf is saving the Geats, aiding Hrothgar, killing creatures and saving his people. He shows his heroism through his bravery and acts of courage; but he is also being assisted through fate and God. From killing Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon he knows that he is doing great things for all of the people in his kingdoms.
Anglo Saxon values are portrayed throughout Beouwulf and allows reeaders to understand the concept of a hero. The warrior Beowulf is introduced as “Higlacs / follower and the strongest of the Geats” (ll. 109-110). To quench his thirst for fame and an epic quest, he sets sail to honor a favor. Because of Beowulf’s great strength and noble birth, he is able to complete his quest which in turn makes him and epic hero.
First, Beowulf displays the anglo-saxon hero characteristic of bravery and courage throughout different points in the poem. “Proclaiming that he’d go to the famous King, would sail across the sea to Hrothgar, now when help was needed.” (114-116) Beowulf stood up and was brave enough to go and
As the Martian Manhunter once said, “The future is worth it. All the pain. All the tears. The future is worth the fight”. This modern day superhero mentality, that fighting the good fight is worth it because it is the right thing to do is seen everywhere today. Movies, comic books, and videos games come out yearly featuring superheroes who fight for justice using their superhuman abilities. They possess characteristics such as bravery, strength, a stong moral compass, and loyalty. Interestingly, these modern day superhero traits can be traced all the way back to the Anglo-Saxons were the first hero ever, Beowulf lived. It is Beowulf who not only exemplifies modern day hero traits, but he more importantly shows the ideals of an Anglo-Saxon hero. Without a doubt, Beowulf demonstrates the traits of an Anglo-Saxon hero.
The story of Beowulf is one of the oldest examples of what society views as a hero. Though the story was written in Anglo-Saxon times, the credentials one would need in order to be considered by society a hero remain the same. The Anglo-Saxons believed that a hero was strong and courageous, but humble and kind as well. They also believed that a hero was intelligent and dignified, in which he would fight until death in order to defend his people. In Beowulf and Grendel, directed by Sturla Gunnarsson, Beowulf is depicted as caring, compassionate, noble, and understanding, which makes him seem as if he had every trait of a true hero. He seems quite the opposite, however, in the story Grendel by John Gardner. The book Grendel portrays Beowulf
Beowulf shows the theme, heroism when he saves the kingdom of Hrothgar the great. The horrible monster called Grendel, has been helping himself to the flesh of english men. Beowulf, a powerful warrior, will have nothing to do with it. He and his men pretend to be asleep and await for the horrible demon to smite again.” As the sun had gone, he knew that Grendel Would come to Herot, would visit that hall”( Line 377-78) Beowulf is silently waiting for Grendel to strike again. Beowulf is so heroic, that he sacrifices on of his on men in the battle. “Grendel snatched at the first Geat .He came to, ripped him apart, cut His body to bits with powerful jaws, Drank the blood from his veins, and bolted Him down, hands and feet; death”(line 420-25) Beowulf was so heroic, that he did not need weapons. He simply got ahold of the nasty creature and ripped his arm off. “Higlac’s brave follower tearing at His hands. The monster’s hatred rose higher, But his power had gone. He twisted in pain, And the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder Snapped, muscle and bone split And broke. The battle was
Have you ever dreamt about slaying dragons and a variety of monsters? What about being known as a hero for all your actions? Beowulf has achieved all of these things. From slaying slaying large monsters in oceans to Dragons in caves, to becoming a hero of Herot. Beowulf has accomplished a vast amount quests; along the way he shows us the true characteristics of a hero. The heroic ideals as described in Beowulf are similar to today in Incredible strength, courageous acts, and selfless deeds.
What really defines a hero? Beowulf has been known as one of the greatest heroes in Anglo Saxon history: Strong, brave, and a great leader who will lay his life down for his people. Heroes now, show many of the same qualities, but can come in many different shapes and sizes, some even in the shape of a kitchen sponge. Beowulf’s stories depict epic quests across new and foreign lands. He goes on these quest either to keep his people safe from monster, or earn fame and glory throughout his battles. He is put through many trails and test on his journey, sometimes barley making it out alive. Within the text many good characteristics are shown, like bravery and leadership. An unlikely hero shares these same traits, and his name
In the epic poem of Beowulf, the main hero, Beowulf, proves himself as the hero everyone thinks he is over and over again. Whenever the revered hero and his men face adversity, they simply do not shy away. They will stand against it and fight to the end to protect the goodwill of others. Although there are different definitions of what a hero is, there is only one that really sticks out to me. Beowulf represents this definition of a hero because of his courageousness and selflessness. He simply doesn’t care if he dies, but he will do whatever it takes to protect others.
The author, Raffel, casts Beowulf as an epic hero, as he embodies all the characteristics of a hero. He was willing to risk his life for the love of his people because it was imperative for him to protect them from any danger. Beowulf’s agility and strength worked towards his advantage to defeat mythical creatures.He proved his worthiness and capability to defeat creatures, in order to protect the Danes, by displaying a warrior conduct of loyalty.Although he undergoes a downfall, he is a true hero who persevered until the
Originating in the Anglo-Saxon period, the epic poem Beowulf portrays a legendary hero. Beowulf established the earlier form of heroism, and was then later introduced in to the English culture. Praised and admired by many people, Beowulf possesses several distinct traits that allow him to be defined perfectly as an ideal Anglo-Saxon hero; his eagerness to seek glory and fame, rather than richness and treasures, his loyalty and graceful attitude not only to his rulers but also to his followers, and his contradictory beliefs of faith and fate
Looking back at early forms of literature we notice the classic idea of heroism in Beowulf. As time passes by the notion of a hero changes. Consciousness in early literature such as, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, does not enter the innermost thoughts. The notion of a hero and the notion of consciousness changes within literature through time. In the novel, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen the hero is portrayed differently compared to earlier texts as well as the characters being aware of one’s environment. The author Jane Austen, carefully shapes her characters’ actions, feelings and affiliations in a specific way. In Sense and Sensibility we have a clearer picture of the consciousness of characters than what we see in Beowulf or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.