Beowulf Epic Hero Yes Or No? Essay

1097 words - 5 pages

Part One:

Every hero has his or her tragic flaw. For Oedipus, it was his pride, like many heroes in the work of ancient poets. In the Epic poem Beowulf, by an unknown anglo - saxian author, Beowulf shares Oedipus's tragic flaw in that he was endlessly trying to build upon his incredibly long-winded resume.

However, despite his issue with pride, Beowulf was also a very selfless and a very fair man and leader.

In the story, he defeats several inhuman beasts fighting fair with each one, even giving up his weapons and armor to create an equal match between him and the monster. After being given endless riches and power, he is tested once more, knowing he will find his fate in this final brawl. This shows Beowulf's extreme bravery to fight a beast to save his people. Therefore, Beowulf is very brave for facing the dragon alone, being incredibly selfless as well.

During the climax of the story, Beowulf exemplifies extreme bravery when he faces a dragon that is terrorizing his kingdom alone, knowing that death is imminent. He does this to save his people because of his selflessness and his bravery: "But Beowulf's heart was heavy: \His soul sensed how close fate \Had come, felt something, not fear but knowledge \of Old age. His armor was strong, but his arm was strong, and his arm\ Hung like his heart. Body and soul \might part, here; his blood might be spilled, \His spirit torn from flesh." (Page 100, lines 2419-2425). This quote shows Beowulf's inner struggle as he reaches his final battle. The words "body and soul might part" show how even though he knows that he will not survive this battle, he still goes in to fight for not only his legacy but his people. The words don't only show his literal recognition of death; they show his figurative belief that his legacy will carry on even though he will leave this world. His inner compass shows tremendous bravery and selflessness in this quote.

As Beowulf is fighting during his last battle, he realizes that his moment has come. Instead of cowering away from the dragon's deadly blow, he accepts his fate and decides to take down the dragon with him: "I mean to stand, not run from his shooting \Flames, stand till fate decides \which of us wins.

My heart is firm \ and My hand is calm: I need no hot \words. Wait for me close by my friends. \We Shall soon see who will survive." (Page 104, lines 2525-2531). The quote shows Beowulf not only thinking about his brave deeds but actually putting his thoughts to action. The words "I mean to stand, not run. ." show Beowulf's brave intentions to face the dragon. To say Beowulf is not brave for doing so is quite a large understatement.

Beowulf's incredible selflessness not only helped him defeat the dragon but also made him a legendary hero. His flaw was able to cause him trouble; his pride got in his way on his way to heroism.

And just like Oedipus, he had a downfall. However, although he had a tragic flaw, he bravely fought the dragon, know...

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