Beowulf Essay

Beowulf, You're My Hero!

      An epic poem tells the victories of the hero. Beowulf, the hero in the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, exemplifies the heroic ideal through his acts of heroism. The pursuit of the heroic ideal is made up of three things: enduring fame, having no belief in an afterlife, and dying gloriously. The heroic ideal is also typified by wanting excellence, wanting to be the best, fighting, and showing skill and courage. When facing all three monsters in the epic, Beowulf proves he is the best by never backing down. He shows great strength and shows no fear. In the epic Beowulf, the hero Beowulf exemplifies the heroic ideal through his battles with the monsters Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon.
      Beowulf's heroism surfaces very early in the epic when he arrives in the land of the Danes to fight Grendel. The first time Beowulf is introduced in the epic, it is said of him, "There was no one else like him alive./ In his day, he was the mightiest man on earth,/ high-born and powerful" (15.196-198). Beowulf wants to be the best and therefore takes on new challenges to prove that he is strong and powerful. A significant piece of the heroic ideal is to never be forgotten. Beowulf is trying to create a good name for himself so he can be remembered. Anglo-Saxons did not believe in an afterlife, so they tried to become as well known as possible in their human lives. Beowulf is willing to leave his homeland of the Geats to save the Danes from Grendel, the monster with the strength of thirty men. When Grendel enters Heorot, the Danish mead hall, Beowulf shows no fear and fights Grendel with his bare hands. Beowulf shows off his strength when he fights Grendel and wins, tearing off Grendel's arm. Beowulf's victory over Grendel exemplifies the heroic ideal because he shows Geats, Danes, and anyone else that hears his story that he is the strongest and the most powerful man. Beowulf shows that he has the skills and the bravery of a king. Beowulf's...