Beowulf – an Epic Hero
The hero of an epic poem normally embodies the ideals of conduct that are most valued by the culture which the epic was composed. In the epic poem “Beowulf” Beowulf was the epic hero. He was an epic hero because of his virtues. Three of his virtues are true to his word, he made his father proud, and he was brave. Beowulf was true to his word by saying “I alone and the help of my men, may purge all evil from this hall. ” (260-261)
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Then later on in the poem he “The infamous killer fought for his freedom, wanting no flesh but retreat, desiring nothing but escape; is claws had been caught, he was trapped. (337-340) In those lines it is saying that Beowulf will go fight the evil, Grendel or “infamous killer,” and then did and killed him, and had Grendel begging for mercy. Beowulf was also brave. He was brave by saying “I alone and the help of my men, may purge all evil from this hall. ” (260-261) He also was brave in a lot of other ways, for example “When my danger is near, the warm words we uttered, and if your enemy should end my life then be,” (451-453) that was when he had to fight Grendel’s mother.
When he fought her he was also brave by going to fight her by himself, only with swords and armor, “She carried him, armor and sword and all. ” (479-480) Another time when Beowulf was brave was when he was going to fight a dragon, Beowulf says, “I feel no shame, with shield and sword and armor, against this monster: when he comes to me I mean to stand, not run from his shooting flames, stand till fate decides which one of us wins. ” (635-639) The third virtue Beowulf expressed was that he will make his father proud. He made his father proud by following in his fathers ootsteps.
His father was very well known, Beowulf says, “My father was a famous soldier, known far and wide as a leader of men. His name was Edegtho. His life lasted many winters; wise men all over the earth surely remember him still. ” (174-179) He is following in his fathers footsteps by becoming a very good leader, by those virtues mentioned earlier, a good soldier, and a good fighter. Beowulf expresses many virtues. He expresses them in the forms of bravery, true to his word, and he will make his father proud. Thus in the epic poem “Beowulf” Beowulf is the epic hero.