The Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf touches on the vice of pride, and is instilled in the main character, Beowulf, the great and mighty warrior. His boasting and arrogance when first dropping anchor at Heorot transitions throughout the poem, and, in contrast with his ideal kingsmanship, motivates him to accomplish and overcome the many challenges he faces as an epic hero. The contrast of his absent humility in the rise and fall of the story help promote the progression of the story, through its different purposes. Beowulf, when first landing upon Hrothgar’s kingdom, boasts, which does not go unchallenged, so that he might gain the trust of the Danes, but when knowingly facing his last battle, uses bragging to comfort and brace himself for his ultimate demise.
Joseph Campbell’s term monomyth can be described as a hero’s journey. Many heroic characters follow the monomyth, no matter the time period or culture the literature was created in. The poem Beowulf is known to follow the adventure of the hero described in Campbell’s monomyth . The hero’s journey consists of three rites of passages: separation, initiation, and return. Beowulf endures each of these stages throughout the epic poem, so his journey does follow Campbell’s monomyth.
Every epic hero possesses certain heroic characteristics. The epic poem Beowulf describes the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. Beowulf is the hero. He shows that he is a great man by always putting other things before his own needs. He is important and needed by his people and is known by many as a strong, courageous and a helpful person. He shows all of the qualities and traits that a true hero possesses.
Being a hero can be defined many different ways. Several qualities like courage, respect, and strength can define heroism. A hero is noted for his or her actions for being brave, powerful, and acting with honor. In the epic poem, Beowulf, the main character Beowulf shows all of these characteristics by defending the Danish king, Hrothgar, and his people. He is a true hero by honoring his country and exerting his power and strength to protect others. Beowulf embodies the qualities of bravery, being powerful, and demonstrating his honor; therefore, he can be considered a true hero.
Christopher Reeve once said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to preserve and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” A hero is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Hero’s are around us in our everyday lives such as firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect people and their property. Other hero’s can be found in literature. These hero’s, also know as an epic hero, exhibit superhuman qualities to help fight and protect others while on their quest. Being a hero means taking on enormous responsibilities. With these responsibilities comes great praise from others which both Beowulf and everyday firefighter receive for their extraordinary work.
The theme of Beowulf is heroism. Beowulf himself represents the heroic ideal because of his features, strength, and courage, but also because of his intelligence and honor. Beowulf is proud of his strength and great his honor. When Beowulf goes to Heorot, waiting for Grendel, he refuses to keep a weapon. He believes in himself that he can defeat the monster who has devoured many men without using any weapons. It turns out that Beowulf's intelligent approach was right. Glory is also one of the themes in Beowulf. In the beginning, Beowulf comes to Hrothgar's rescue, not just out of generosity but out of a desire to win glory for himself in
Beowulf possessed great strength that separated him from other men. Being able to use a sword that no ordinary man was able to carry gives the feeling that Beowulf is something more than a human being. It makes him special and causes him to stand out from all other men. Fame is something that makes a hero more noted. Beowulf’s popularity
In the movie Spider-Man, the hero has a rivalry with the Green Goblin. The Green Goblin taunted Spiderman for a very long time until the alter ego of Peter Parker had enough of the Goblin. Every encounter between Spiderman and Green Goblin always turn into a retreat of the Goblin but at the very end of the movie, Spiderman turns out to be victorious. Spiderman is considered to be a modern day hero. An Anglo-Saxon hero is a hero from the Medieval years and fights with swords, not spider webs. Just like Beowulf, he wins a lot of his battles. Each hero has his own special characteristics that make him unique. In the poem Beowulf, the hero clearly demonstrates bravery, boastfulness and super strength within his fights.
Every epic hero possesses certain heroic characteristics. Beowulf, like other epic heroes, possesses the following heroic qualities: epic heroes are superhuman types of beings. They have a noble birth and show great bravery. They display great intelligence and resourcefulness. They have a reverence for G-d and for the values of their society. They are dominant male figures and suffer severe pain, but in the end, they conquer evil (Vivone 9/27/99). In addition to Beowulf’s heroic qualities, he is very strong. Beowulf was said to have “the strength of thirty [men] in his mighty handgrip” (Bloom 11). Early proof of Beowulf’s extraordinary strength is evidenced by his dismemberment of Grendel’s limb, the fight in the cave under water, and the
The epic poem Beowulf tells the story of a warrior's feats throughout his life. This warrior, Beowulf, had superhuman strength and unequaled courage. Beowulf was the perfect example of what a king and a warrior of his time should have been. He was completely unafraid of death, loyal to his clank, generous to his king and to his people, and he had a drive for praise and reward. These traits show up throughout the story.
Some literary scholars maintain that Beowulf developed character flaws through the course of the long narrative poem, and that at the time of his death he was a victim of pride, avarice, selfishness and an inordinate craving for glory. The purpose of this essay is to show that he was a tremendous hero from beginning to end.
By definition, a tragic hero is a protagonist that due to some tragic flaw loses everything he has. Throughout history, literature has always been filled with main characters possessing some tragic flaw. In Macbeth, Macbeth’s tragic flaw is his enormous ambition to become king. In Hamlet, Hamlet’s tragic flaw is his need for revenge for the death of his father at the hands of his uncle. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh’s tragic flaw is his need to be remembered. In the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, Beowulf also has a tragic flaw, excessive pride and the search for fame, which ultimately leads to his demise.
Beowulf is an Old English poem written somewhere between the eighth century and the tenth century; the culture of Germanic times is depicted through varying concepts of masculinity that not only describes their capability as a warrior, but also their aptitude as a leader. Beowulf shows of a demon named Grendel attacking Heorot, and the king, Hrothgar, calls Beowulf, a warrior, for help with the slaying of Grendel. Characteristics and qualities of leadership are directly linked to the masculinity of the characters within Beowulf. The leaders in the prologue are demonstrated with the aspects of masculinity through their strength and brutality. In Beowulf, a man demonstrates his essential worth through evidence of masculinity as seen in Unferth’s cowardice, Beowulf’s heroism, and Wiglaf’s bravery.