Beowulf : The Perfect Hero

Good Essays
Huy Nguyen
Ms. Zeltner
Modern Lit

Beowulf argumentative essay Beowulf is more than just a story, it’s a cornerstone of modern literature as its dynamic structure and theme display great originality and uniqueness. Given its history, the story plot is certainly original as it was constructed over 1300 years ago. Beowulf is an epic poem in which the plot is intended to portray the unique heroism of German warriors. Beowulf exemplifies the traits of the perfect hero. The poem explores his heroism in two separate phases—youth and age—and through three separate and increasingly difficult conflicts—with Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. Yet Beowulf has more than just history as the story itself is one of greatness.

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He always knows how to fight back with the monster with his bare hands and never loses. Beowulf also sets aside careful when he fights with Grendel’s mother. “He drew it from its scabbard, broke the chain on its hilt, and then, savage, now, angry, and desperate, lifted it high over his head and struck with all the strength he had left, caught her in the neck and cut it through.” (517-523). Basing on the heroic nature of the poem, one would have expected Beowulf to put the safety of his men before anything else. On the contrary, Beowulf’s intent to defeat the monster supersedes his concern for lives of his men. Clearly, Beowulf focuses more on what is expected of a hero from his people than he does for personal safety or the safety of those who serve under him. The only battle Beowulf uses a weapon, the encounter with the dragon; because the dragon has its own special advantages, venom and breathing fire. When he arrives to the area where the dragon lives, he turns around to his men and says, “And Beowulf uttered his final boast: ‘I’ve never known my fear, as, a youth I fought in the endless battles, I am old, now, but I will fight again, seek fame still, if the dragon hiding in his tower dares to face me.’ Then he said farewell to his followers” (606-612). In this quote, Beowulf tells his warriors he wants to fight the dragon alone. He commands them to stay back so that he may kill the dragon by
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