Journal 1 Essay

Submitted By Derek-Lentz
Words: 779
Pages: 4

Derek Lentz
English 2301
February 9th, 2015
Heroic Traits of Anglo-Saxon Culture The epic poem, Beowulf, depicts the heroic traits that Anglo-Saxon culture most values through the character Beowulf by being the epitome of the perfect hero. Beowulf was an outstanding warrior with all the extraordinary values required of a hero. He was able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to help those that were in need. He encountered terrifying monsters and the most ferocious of beasts, but he never feared the threat of death. Beowulf was the ultimate hero of the Anglo-Saxon culture who risked his life time and time again for immortal glory and for the good of others. The most valuable traits that an Anglo-Saxon hero could possess were assisting others, physical strength, and fearlessness of death. An important trait to the Anglo-Saxon culture that Beowulf had was his ability to put his people’s welfare before his own. Beowulf was sent to help rid the Danes from the evil Grendel and Beowulf, asking help from no one, risked his life for the Danes so that they could be free from the terror of Grendel. He was conscious of the dangers, but feared nothing for his own life. When Beowulf was explaining why he lost a swimming race he stated that “From now on sailors would be safe, the deep-sea raids were over for good,” (567) after he told of how he was attacked by sea monsters and then killed them. He was boasting that he was able to physically overcome the sea monsters that attacked him, but he also added to his boast that his actions will help many people. He may have been seeking glory all the times that he has risked his life to help others, but he did put the lives of others before his which is obviously a valuable trait to his culture as he boasts about helping many people. Beowulf was a hero in the eyes of his fellow men through his amazing physical strength. One of the many battles that Beowulf was part of in his life was the battle against Grendel, in which Beowulf fought against a monster that had killed many men and terrorized the people living near the monster. Beowulf showed his great strength by ripping Grendel’s arm off at the shoulder with his bare hands, which would be impossible for a regular human to do. Nearly all of Beowulf’s boasts contained some example of how he is incredibly strong. Also in the explanation of Beowulf’s swimming competition he spoke of how he was carrying a sword and wearing chainmail while swimming which is no easy thing to do as carrying extra weight while swimming is very difficult. He also spoke of fighting and killing nine sea monsters simultaneously after swimming for five days. This focus on physical prowess shows that it is a very important trait for a warrior of Anglo-Saxon culture to have. The most