Essay on Hero and Beowulf

Submitted By orlikoff
Words: 659
Pages: 3

Beowulf is a story that was passed down orally for generations. It is a story about Beowulf, a hero of the Geats from Scandinavia. In the story he hears of a king, Hrothgar, whose kingdom is being terrorized by a monster, the Grendel. Beowulf agrees to defeat the Grendel, and is offered treasure, but is only in it for the glory. After he defeats the Grendel, the Grendel’s mother attacks, and Beowulf kills her as well. He returns home, becomes king, and in his elder years, a dragon attacks his kingdom. During his battle with the dragon, Beowulf kills the dragon, but is mortally wounded. He dies, and his people build him a tumulus in his honor. Beowulf is known as one of the greatest hero’s in classic literature. Beowulf’s heroic qualities include his strength (mental and physical), generosity, and courage. Beowulf was a classic hero through his amazing physical strength. He fought in numerous battles and returned victorious from all. One of those victorious battles was the battle against Grendel, in which Beowulf fought against the monster that had killed masses of men. Beowulf tore the Grendel’s arm clean off its body. “He twisted in pain, and the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder snapped, muscle and bone split and broke” (Beowulf, 736). When Beowulf fought Grendel's mother, who sought revenge for her son's death, he was able to defeat her as well. “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" (Beowulf, 1612). He was able to slay Grendel’s mother by slashing the monster's neck with a giant's sword that could only be lifted by a person as strong as Beowulf. After defeating Grendel’s mother, Beowulf decided to finish off Grendel by slashing the monster's neck with the giant sword. “Then struck off his head with a single swift blow. The body jerked for the last time, then lay still” (Beowulf, 1643). After Beowulf chopped off his head, he carried it from the ocean to Herot mead-hall with ease. The head was so enormously heavy that it would take four men to carry it. Beowulf’s generosity is one to be modeled after. Unferth lends his most prized possession to Beowulf, his family sword, in Beowulf’s battle against Grendel’s mother; however, in his battle the sword fails. Later in the story, when Beowulf unexpectedly encounters Unferth, instead of telling him what really happened,