Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon Hero Essay

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According to the definition, a hero is one who embodies the values of their society. In the epic Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, written by an anonymous author, the character Beowulf is used to convey the value that Anglo-Saxons placed on courage, strength, and loyalty. Courage is certainly a trait which every hero must possess, particularly because no one wants a hero who is a coward. Thankfully, Beowulf is no coward. When Beowulf hears of Grendel’s exploits in Denmark, he travels to the “distant” land, without hesitation, to rid the Danes of that “demon…conceived by a pair of those monsters born of Cain, murderous creatures banished by God”. Beowulf’s courage is displayed even more when he chooses not to fight with weapons, despite knowing…show more content…
Beowulf’s last test of courage comes in his old age when his people are threatened by a “mighty” dragon. Beowulf felt as if something he had done had caused the irascible beast to wreck havoc on his people, “killing and destroying” them and their homes with its “molten” breath. Knowing what had to be done, Beowulf bravely faced the dragon, while all of his people, except for one, fled in fear. His last battle, which ended in death, displayed Beowulf’s unwavering courage, the type that every hero should possess. Strength is without a doubt one of the most important traits which a hero should possess and the Anglo-Saxon’s felt the same way. Beowulf’s strength can be compared to that of the American comic book heroes, Superman and Batman, for he is deemed the “strongest and greatest of the Geats”. The first time that his strength is witnessed, not just spoken of, is when he kills Grendel by ripping the monstrous villain’s arm off. But his most notable display of strength occurs when he enters into combat with Grendel’s mother. When everything seems to be going all wrong for Beowulf, he spies a “heavy” sword hanging on the wall of her lair. With all his power and might, Beowulf drew the sword, “hammered by giants...and….so massive that no ordinary man could life it”, from its scabbard. He “lifts it high over his head”, the sword clasped
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