• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Beowulf, the title character of the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, is a classic epic hero, a mythological or legendary figure, a brave, self-sacrificing, illustrious warrior and king

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Beowulf Beowulf, the title character of the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf, is a classic epic hero, a mythological or legendary figure, a brave, self-sacrificing, illustrious warrior and king endowed with great strength and ability, admired for his achievements and noble qualities, who represents good and battles evil, who embodies the ideals of his society, who fulfills his quest to rescue those who need help and to protect his people. Beowulf is an outstanding fighter. The story gives examples of his fierce strength and great courage, which can grant him glory and future immortality surrounded by his fame. It is obvious that Beowulf is the quintessential hero. His strength and courage are unparalleled and they are the key traits of Beowulf's heroism. Strength and physical appearance are essential to the Anglo-Saxon warrior. ...read more.

Middle

This quotation shows the importance of courage and fate, which was thought to be unchangeable, seems to favor a hero who has enough courage. Beowulf tells Hrothgar and the Danes that he will kill Grendel, but he says he will do this without his sword, and this shows his courage and honor. Beowulf then speaks inspiringly to the thanes: "I had a fixed purpose when I put to sea. (...) I meant to perform to the uttermost what your people wanted or perish in attempt, in the fiend's clutches. And I shall fulfill that purpose, prove myself with a proud deed or meet my death here in the mead- hall" (1193). When Beowulf speaks these words, he shows his great courage, and displays the proper attitude of the warrior. ...read more.

Conclusion

Because "fate goes ever as fate must ", Beowulf explains his death wishes before going into battle and requests to have any assets delivered to his people. He says: "if the battle takes me, send back this breast- webbing that Weland fashioned and Herthel gave me, to Lord Hygelac" (1189). There was also Beowulf's surety in himself. Even though Beowulf instructed Hrothgar to deal with his corpse if he were to fail in the battle with Grendel, his character made it clear that the battle would be victorious. However, he understands that "whichever one death fells must deem it a just judgment by God" (1189). Beowulf is the prime example of an epic hero. His bravery and strength surpass all mortal men. With his skills and talent, he can overcome all. He is fearless and ready to meet with death. Beowulf is the ultimate epic hero who risks his life countless times for immortal glory and for the good of others. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Aeneas can be considered an excellent hero. Discuss.

    5 star(s)

    It is evident that Aeneas' men wished to leave and were resentful of his actions due to the fact that when Aeneas informs them that they shall be leaving they "were delighted to receive their orders." It is important to note however that upon being ordered to leave Carthage, Aeneas'

  2. In this essay I will be examining the reasons why against all odds the ...

    Late March 480BC Xerxes led his huge multicultural army towards Greece. When they reached Ilium, an offering of a thousand oxen was made to the Trojan goddess declaring that he would avenge those that were slain by the Greeks over "The face that launched a thousand ships".

  1. Oedipus the King VS. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" "An Occurrence at Owl ...

    When Oedipus (unbeknown to him) meets his father on the road, he could have decided to walk away and not react. However, he decided to react aggressively, and thus kills his father. However, theoretically, if his character had been different, fate could have returned later and tested him in different ways, perhaps then engaging his good-natured side.

  2. Odysseus - The Epic Hero

    Next, many of the gods respect him enough to help him on his voyage home. Athena helps Odysseus in many ways during his journey. She even "begs her father, Zeus, to help her favorite, and Zeus agrees" (891). The gods are willing to help Odysseus because he stands out as an important figure.

  1. How important is the episode in Phaecia to the whole poem? ...

    for help, which any desperate man on his last straw would do, or he could keep his distance and courteously plead his case. Of course, the cunning and clever Odysseus acted like a gentleman at this drastic time and trying not to overwhelm the young girl managed to flatter her

  2. Odysseus was a true hero he showed this through his determination and courage.

    his way back to sea, got past the sirens, any ordinary man would have given up after the battle or two. Odysseus was no ordinary man he was a hero. To say Odysseus had courage means that he (according to the dictionary)

  1. The Tragic Hero

    According to this interpretation, Aristotle may have been offering an alternative to Plato's charge that the dramatic poets were dangerous to society because they incited the passions. However, it is uncharacteristic of Aristotle to define tragedy in terms of audience psychology; throughout the Poetics he focuses on dramatic structure, not its effects.

  2. Jason behaves so badly that it is impossible for us to sympathise with his ...

    Now the audience is forced to weigh up their sympathy for Medea and consider Jason's side of the story; is the right course of action to kill your children, simply for the revenge of your husband leaving you for another woman?

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work