Beowulf, The Epic Hero

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Beowulf, The Epic Hero An epic is a long poem, usually derived from ancient oral stories, describing the adventures and deeds of a legendary hero. Typically, most epics follow a pattern or hold certain characteristics. These characteristics are; a hero, a quest, valorous deeds, divine intervention, and great events. The hero is usually the protagonist that in which is sent on a quest. As the heroes proceed on their quest, they will exhibit valorous deeds or actions that show their character. Epics also intertwine great events to set the theme of the story. Some of these events develop from myths or cultural aspects. Lastly, the hero must undergo divine intervention, or the help from a person or supernatural force. One of the most well known Anglo-Saxon Epics is Beowulf. The story of Beowulf contains all of these characteristics, along with the values of the Anglo-Saxons. The values of the Anglo-Saxons can best be described as The Heroic Code. This Code of Honor was the ruleset every warrior was to follow. The warriors were to be brave, honorable, truthful, and loyal. Beowulf perfectly exhibits these values, making him a great example of an epic hero. The poem starts off with the introduction of Grendel, a beast originating from the cursed family of Cain and Abel. Because he is an abomination that has been exiled from man by God, Grendel lives in the darkness. He constantly hears the sounds of celebration coming from the mead hall full of warriors causing him to cringe.

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