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Beowulf Essay

1242 words - 5 pages

Beowulf - A Hero Beowulf is an epic poem about a man and some of his adventures. Beowulf, the main character, is the hero of the story. He possesses many traits that cause him to be not only an epic hero, but a tragic one, too. The traits that many heroes in literature have are: # A hero's conception is often unusual, and by tradition his mother is a virgin. # Usually there is a plot to kill him immediately after his birth. # Although little is known about his childhood, he grows to maturity in the home of foster parents after his narrow escape with death. # After he grows to manhood, he returns and achieves a victory over a king or a wild animal. # He marries a princess. # He ...view middle of the document...

However, later in the story Beowulf reveals to the reader that Beowulf actually did grow up in the home of someone other than his parents. "I was seven years old when Hrethel opened his home and his heart for me, when my king and my lord Took me from my father and kept me, taught me, Gave me gold and pleasure, glad that I sat On his knee." (Beowulf; lines 2428-2432) # After he grows to manhood, he returns and achieves a victory over a king or a wild animal. Beowulf never left his home, so he does not have to return to it. He does leave his home to battle a monster in a foreign land. "So Beowulf Chose the mightiest men he could find, The bravest and best of the Geats, fourteen In all, and led them down to their boat." (Beowulf; lines 204-207) Beowulf returns home after his battle, but never leaves it to settle in another land. Beowulf achieves his victory over a monster that plagued the Danes for some time. "The battle was over, Beowulf Had been granted new glory." (Beowulf; lines 818-819) "Beowulf, A prince of the Geats, had killed Grendel, Ended the grief, the sorrow, the suffering Forced on Hrothgar's helpless people By a bloodthirsty fiend." (Beowulf; lines 829-833) Beowulf not only defeated one monster, but two. The mother of the monster returned after he was killed. "And it was known that a monster had died But a monster still lived, and meant revenge." (Beowulf; lines 1256-1257) Beowulf had to defeat her also to be fully appreciated by the Danes."Then he saw, hanging on the wall, a heavy Sword, hammered by giants, strong And blessed with their magic, the best of all weapons But so massive that no ordinary man could lift Its carved and decorated length. He drew it From its scabbard, broke the chain on its hilt, And then, savage, now, angry And desperate, lifted it high over his head And struck with all the strength he had left, Caught her in the neck and cut it through, Broke bones and all. Her body fell to the floor, lifeless, the sword was wet With her blood, and Beowulf rejoiced at the sight." (Beowulf; lines 1557-1569) # He marries a princess. This is one of the few traits that Beowulf does not possess. Beowulf does not get married. # He becomes the king. When Higlac, the...

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