The story of the hero Beowulf was sung by a scop, by a hearth to a mead-hall full of warriors, some twelve hundred years ago and written down a thousand years ago. In Beowulf, translated by
Seamus Heaney, Beowulf shows the true valor and great strength of a hero, when he fights three monsters: Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a fire-breathing dragon. He eventually becomes king of the Geats. He handles the challenges like a true hero and eventually becomes a great leader. When Beowulf was a young man he was strong, brave, and smart. He showed all the traits of a hero in the story of his swimming race with his friends. Although Beowulf lost the race, he bravely stopped and slew some sea monsters to protect other people. Years later when he arrives at Heorot, the great mead-hall of Hrothgar, king of the Danes, he offers to fight the dreadful demon, Grendel, who terrorizes the people of Denmark. Beowulf tells the Danes his intentions with Grendel. “Now
I mean to a match for Grendel/ settle the outcome in single combat” (425-26). Hrothgar had done a favor for Beowulf’s father, and Beowulf offers to risk his life to uphold the family honor and to pay his father’s dues, as expected of a hero. After a deadly hand-to-hand combat with Grendel, he wins against the monster by tearing off his arm. Clear proof of this could be seen in the hand the hero displayed high up near the roof: the whole of Grendel’s shoulder and arm, his awesome grasp. (832-35)
Beowulf is praised but stays humble and noble. Not too long after his victory, he fights Grendel’s mother, a monster more fearful than even Grendel, who seeks revenge for her son’s death.
Beowulf couragously journeys to her under-water lair, where he fights a hard battle and uses his wits to outthink her and uses her own sword to kill her. When he returns to Heorot, he is welcomed as an incredible hero, and he is granted many treasures. When he returns home to
Geatland, the king and queen praise him for his bravery. After some time, the king and his son are killed, therefore, Beowulf ascends the throne…