Beowulf’s Courage Against Evil
In the poem Beowulf, by Seamus Heaney the main character Beowulf displays courage and bravery throughout the novel in his heroic battles against evil.
The first example of when Beowulf shows courage is when he fights Grendel with his bare hands. Grendel is an evil dragon who is killing people in the mead-hall. A messenger travels to tell Beowulf about what is going on. Beowulf has the option to save the Danes and says, “that king, / the famous prince who needed defenders” (Heaney 200-201). Beowulf shows courage by owing allegiance to Lord Hygelac and believes he has a past reason to help Hrothgar. To be a hero a warrior must protect people who are in danger and this is what Beowulf is going to achieve. By applying the characteristic of courage, Beowulf develops leadership skills and will become a hero for his people. There is a lot on Beowulf’s shoulders to defeat Grendel who is wreaking havoc on the Danes, “There was panic after dark, people endured / raids in the night, riven by the terror” (192-193). Grendel has brought terror to the Danes and Beowulf is going to stand against him. When Beowulf battles Grendel, he elects not to use weapons and says, “When it comes to fighting, I count myself / as dangerous as Grendel. / …No weapons, therefore, / for either this night: unarmed he shall face me / if face me he dares” (677-685). Beowulf exhibits courage to fight with his bare hands and believes he is as mighty as Grendel. This is a battle
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He showed courage by risking his own life to help Hrothgar and the people of Herot by volunteering to fight Grendel. Beowulf states “That I alone, and with the help of my men, may purge all the evil from this hall” (pg.48). He also showed courage by fighting the dragon, even though he was getting too old, he still wanted to help and fight the dragon. He stated “I am old, now, but I will fight again, seek fame still, if the dragon hiding in his tower dares to face me” (pg.56-57). Beowulf exemplified having courage by putting down his weapons and armor in the battle between him and Grendel, he wanted to fight him equally considering Grendel had no weapons. He made it a battle of strength and he displayed courage by believing in himself and taking a risk in fighting against Grendel. Beowulf was very full of courage, which he proved by fighting in his battles and risking his life for the sake of others.
Courage, bravery, and strength are three heroic Anglo-Saxon characteristics that tie together perfectly. Without courage, you will not have strength and bravery. Without strength and bravery, you will not have the courage to face your challenges. Anglo-Saxons believed three of these characteristics were perfectly interwoven in the ideal Anglo-Saxon hero (Garcia). Beowulf identifies to three of these Anglo-Saxon characteristics flawlessly as he fights the monstrous Grendel. Courage means fighting even if it means death; it means challenging your fate and being brave no matter the circumstance (Cascio). Beowulf shows special strength and bravery when he has the courage to renounce his use of weapons and protection when battling Grendel. “No weapons, therefore, for either this night: unarmed he [Grendel] shall face me if face
Not only is Beowulf honorable and well respected, he is brave as well. His courage is shown by not hesitating to risk his own life to pursue the Dane’s enemies. By being self-assured, Beowulf is able to successfully defeat the fiends, Grendel and his infamous mother. At the time Beowulf is planning to pursue the vindictive dragon, the epic poem states, “I’ve never known fear, as a youth I fought in 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.”(ll. 2511-2515). He feels no fear, is confident in fighting the dragon alone, and has no qualms in risking his life to save others. He declares his bravery by saying, “When he comes to me I mean to stand, not run from his shooting flames, stand till fate decides which of us wins... No one else could do what I mean to, here, no man but me could hope to defeat this monster.”(ll. 2525-2534). In his actions, Beowulf’s bravery is clearly shown throughout the poem.
Growing up, everyone has a idea on what a hero looks like. Heros represent a lot of different aspects of bravery. Every culture in history has had a heroic figure. In most cultures heroes portray different aspects of being a hero. In Anglo-Saxon times heroes were considered strong, and fearless. Beowulf is a true epic hero in Anglo- Saxon times because he is very fearless, strong, and honored.
Beowulf first displays his courage during his fight with the evil monster Grendel. In the poem, Beowulf challenges the beast to duel and says that he will fight him with no weapons and armor to show his courage. “No weapons, therefore,/ for either this night: unarmed he shall face me if face me he dares” (Heaney 683-685). This shows how much courage Beowulf has because he is fighting a descendent from Cain and is taking him on without any weapons and armor. Secondly, Beowulf does not hesitate for one second and takes on the beast without any help, this shows how courages the hero is.
Beowulf is a hero, and we all know a hero when we see one. There are many traits and characteristics that make someone a hero. These traits and characteristics are more expressed in ancient epics and poems. Beowulf is one of the most famous ancient Anglo-Saxon poems still taught to this day in schools and colleges all over the world. The story starts off of how a man by the name of Beowulf receives news that a neighboring land is being terrorized by a monster named Grendel. Beowulf shows several characteristics of here such as, bravery, loyalty, generosity, friendship, and showing a high level of intellect. Beowulf first shows his heroic character through his bravery while journeying on his epic quest. There are several cases where he is not afraid, and instead of being frightened, he shows great bravery. An example of from the poem is, “Instead, they inspected omens and spurred his ambitions to go, whilst he moved about like the leader he was, enlisting men, the best he could find; with fourteen others the warrior boarded the boast as captain” (Beowulf 205-210). This quote gives proof of his bravery because he was the head of the group leading his men. Beowulf proves that even he himself must be brave in order to lead the bravest of men into battle.
To begin, a cultural truth admired by the Anglo-Saxon is courage in battle because it is a trait of a good warrior in the eyes of Anglo-Saxon people. Courage in battle is the ability to not be afraid of the enemy, be strong, and brave. Beowulf shows his above average strength and courage in battle when he is going to battle Grendel: “When it comes to battle, I count myself/ as dangerous any day as Grendel,/ … No weapons, therefore,/ for either this night: unarmed he shall face me/ if face me he dares” (Beowulf 677-685). In this quote Beowulf states and declares his abandonment of weapons, as well as his belief that he is as strong as Grendel, so he will fight him without a weapon. This shows Beowulf’s courage in battle because it displays his tremendous strength and boldness by going to fight a monster with no weapons, which demonstrates that he is not
Courage, the ability to do something that frightens one. This is the first thing one must have to be considered noble, and Beowulf went all out. In one act of courage, he stripped himself of all of his weapons in order to face Grendel, ”He began to remove his iron breast-mail,/took off the helmet and handed his attendant/the patterned sword, a smith’s masterpiece,/ordering him to keep the equipment guarded.”, not even knowing that no weapon on Earth could damage him. He had told the Geats of his plan and they had all listened to him as he held his end of the bargain and took down the mighty beast. Grendel on the other hand, didn’t show much courage. He confronted a dragon, yes, but he just talked to it and listened, he didn’t
Michael Hyatt once stated that, “courage is not the absence of fear, but the willingness to act in spite of the fear”. This quote can be simply connected to Beowulf. Beowulf was originally just a story that was told and passed down from generation to generation. The time period that the story was written in is unknown and so is the author. Even though the author is unknown many different translations have been written and are based on the original translation that was discovered . The story takes place during the Anglo Saxon period and is very brutal. The story is about a courageous warrior who gains alot of fame and honor by fighting different monsters. The story itself only describes three battles but it has many flashbacks to the hero’s
Beowulf is a prime example of what it means to be courageous. In his fight with Grendel, he chooses “[n]o weapons, therefore, / for either this night: unarmed he shall face me / if face me he dares” (683-84). Beowulf has never encountered Grendel before. He has only heard the stories of the beast’s evil doings, so going into a fight with no protection requires great strength and bravery. Beowulf is the only man to dive into the waters to fight Grendel’s Mother. He goes into the fight believing “life doesn’t cost him a thought” (1536). The outcome of the battle does not faze Beowulf because a warrior should
Beowulf in Beowulf and King Arthur in The Once and Future King both exhibit their courageousness. Arthur shows his courage when he fights the army of King Lot. “In the morning, almost before they were formed, Arthur was on them. In conformity with his own tactics, he sent only a small troop of forty spears to start the work.” The excerpt shows Arthur decides to still go to battle despite Lot’s army being vaster than his own. Beowulf shows his courageousness when he fights Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. “‘I’ve never known fear, as a youth I fought/In endless battles. I am old, now,/But I will fight again,seek fame still,” This extract shows Beowulf’s courage before he goes into battle. Beowulf tells
What is an epic hero without courage? Well, not a epic hero at all. Beowulf has the superhuman strength, glory and fame, but he cannot embody those characteristics if he does not have courage to drive him primarily. Initially, the reader can get a taste of Beowulf epicness when he heavily boasts about his battle at sea with Breca. Due to jealousy, Unferth calls him out for his loss in the thrashing waves, yet Beowulf shows no embarrassment and even exploits Unferth for his lack of braveness as he claims, “The fact is, Unferth, if you were truly as keen and courageous as you claim to be, Grendel would never have gotten away with such unchecked atrocity, attacks on your king, havoc in Heorot and horror everywhere” (Heaney 590-594). He makes it clear that no one can deteriorate or match the courage that he beholds. While he the battle is brought up, Beowulf states that “Often, for undaunted courage, fate spares a man that it has not already marked” (572-573). This is inferring that if one hasn’t died yet due to fate, they can continue living their life through courage. This foreshadows the mindset of Beowulf and how he holds the theory of bravery close in his morals. As Beowulf goes on to explain this rigorous battle, he claims that not only did he swim for seven days in full armor, but also nonchalantly slayed nine sea
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
Beowulf, an epic poem, was written by an anonymous author who described the Anglo-Saxon era. During this era, Anglo-Saxon heroes were classified as courageous, generous and faithful. In the poem, the character Beowulf is classified as an Anglo-Saxon hero. People of the Anglo-Saxon era spoke what is now known as Old English.
In Beowulf the classic epic, Beowulf, the hero of the epic, and other major characters reflect heroic ideals and beliefs of courage, generosity, unquestioning loyalty and devotion. Courage is most evident throughout Beowulf Beowulf does not back down from any challenge that stands in his way whether it be Grendel, Grendel’s mother, or the dragon. His bravery is most evident in his preparation for his fight with Grendel, Beowulf, “took off his shirt of armour, the helmet from his head, handed his embellished sword, best of irons to an attendant,…” He chose to bravely fight his foe, man to beast without weaponery for he knew it would be “cowardly” to defeat Grendel with a sword and armor when Grendel himself had none. Even in his