What embodies the true characteristics of a hero? Within the epic poem Beowulf, the protagonist portrays countless qualities to help define the true essence of a hero. In the ninth century a hero was expected to be courageous, strong, and loyal.
In order to live up to the expectations of a ninth century hero you must be courageous. In Beowulf’s final battle he was well aware he would be encountering his sudden demise but he didn’t flee. Beowulf stayed to fight his enemy. “Fought with fate against him, with glory denied him. He knew it, but he raised his sword and struck at the dragons scaly hide” (pg 56 lines ). When heroes discover that the odds are against them, rather than contemplate they stay and fight till deaths wrathful grip defeats their opponent.
Heroes of the ninth century accented qualities of strength. In Beowulf’s battle with Grendel, he shows a supreme amount of strength. “Clutched at Beowulf with his claws… and was instantly seized himself, claws Bent back as Beowulf leaned up on one arm” (pg 47 lines 321-323). The warrior, being only of average weight and build, was able to forcefully resist the all-mighty strength of Grendel’s tight grasp. By seizing the vile fiend with only his sheer strength and ability, Beowulf proves his God-like strength.
A hero is not only strong and courageous but must be loyal as well. Beowulf presents the upmost honorable aspect of loyalty throughout the epic poem. “ The brave king gave…