Epic of Beowulf Essay: The Heroism of Beowulf
Length: 404 words (1.2 double-spaced pages)
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Beowulf was written in the eighth century by an unknown author. The story is centered on Beowulf, the main character, who goes to Denmark to offer his assistance in fighting off, Grendel, the monster who has been haunting them. Beowulf most definitely proves to be a hero. His heroism is exemplified first when he kills Grendel, then when he kills Grendel’s mother, and finally when he kills the dragon, called Worm. This makes him a hero because he risks his own life to save the people of Denmark.
The reader first experiences Beowulf’s heroism when he encounters and then kills Grendel. Grendel was a constant threat to the survival of the Danish people because he was using them as food. One night Beowulf awakes to find Grendel over his bed. Rather than trying to escape, Beowulf not only faces Grendel but also pursues him when he tries to escape. Like any other hero Beowulf purses the danger until it is conquered.
The reader experiences Beowulf heroism a second time when he kills Grendel’s mother. Grendel’s mother wanted to avenge her son’s death and went back to the mead hall where a lot of warriors slept and attacked. Beowulf came and was ready to fight but Grendel’s mother fled. Disregarding his own safety Beowulf persistently tracks Grendel’s mother to her cave, where the head of the chieftain was found. Despite how colossal Grendel’s mother was Beowulf stuck it out till the end and eventually stabbed Grendel’s mother leading to her death.
The third time the reader experiences Beowulf heroism is when he fights and kills the dragon, the worm. Once again Beowulf completely disregards his safety and decided to fight this monster. This time Beowulf ended up need some assistance from Wiglaf. Fortunately the worm was killed. However, Beowulf too was injured and was dying. He made a few requests that he wanted to be done after he died for Wiglaf to carry out.
This showed heroism because he wasn’t scared of dying and was glad the worm was dead.
In conclusion by definition a hero is willing to do many things. For example he is willing to risk his own life for the good of others, faces danger and does not run away from it, and lastly pursues the danger until it is conquered. Every fight that Beowulf fought showed him doing all three of the characteristics a hero consists of.