Beowulf As A Hero

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Exploring Beowulf’s Success as a Hero

The epic Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf, takes place in a society where valor and bravery is measured through noble yet violent actions. Morality in Beowulf is heavily influenced by Paganism. Pagan beliefs maintain that courageous acts with righteous motivations attain glory and valor. These acts define a person as a hero, even if they are defeated. In moral standards, a person willing to sacrifice his or herself Although Beowulf is slain by the dragon at the end of the poem, he is still considered a hero by pagan and modern standards, and is not a failure in any regard due to his willingness to sacrifice himself for others. In Beowulf’s fights against Grendel and his mother, Beowulf's intentions are noble and he i[s successful in defeating his enemies. For Beowulf, his strength represents more than his physical prowess; it also represents his capability in protecting the people around him and defending the weaker citizens. For example, when Beowulf fights Grendel, he is not only defeating a devil like monster, he is sacrificing his life for people that he barely has any connection to. When Beowulf expresses his fearlessness towards death proclaiming that he “shall fulfil that purpose / prove myself with a proud deed / or meet my death here in the mead-hall." (636-638), he uses diction related to proving his valiance and keeping promises. Here, Beowulf shows that he is not fighting for himself, rather he is fighting for the people

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