Beowulf As A Legendary Hero 

June 22, 2022 by Essay Writer

A legendary hero can be defined as a character, more specifically a hero, who is the focus of myths and folklore. These heroes also exhibit traits such as having extreme strength, being well respected, chivalrous, loyal, and has the desire to protect those who need protection. Beowulf is often described as being a legendary hero because he holds many if not all of these traits. Beowulf is incredibly courageous, loyal, and understands the importance of revenge.

Beowulf’s courage is tested through his three battles, Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the Dragon. When Beowulf goes to face Grendel, a monstrous descendant of Cain, he says “I could kill him with my sword; I shall not” (Raffel 677-678). Grendel is known for being ruthless and demonic but Beowulf insists on taking this creature on without his sword and in the end kills the beast. During his next battle in Grendel’s mother’s lair at the bottom of the lake, the sword he intended to use fails him, and in a time of immense pressure, he was able to find a sword made from giants and “Caught her in the neck and cut it through, broke bones and all” (1565-6). Beowulf’s courage allowed him to remain level-headed and think of a new plan when he fails, and in the end, allowed him to defeat yet another enemy. Beowulf was courageous in his final battle because it was “the first time in his life that famous prince fought with fate against him” (2573-4), going into this battle he knew that he would not make it out alive but he still went and fought for his king with no hesitation.

Beowulf understands the importance of seeking revenge against those who have wronged those to whom he is loyal and innocents. Beowulf has ultimately no ties to Hrothgar, the king of Denmark, or his country. When Beowulf hears of this crime he goes to Hrothgar and says that “Grendel’s name has echoed in our land…Now Grendel and I are called together, and I’ve come” (408-26). Beowulf goes to avenge the innocents who were killed and protect those who cannot protect themselves if Grendel returned. Hrothgar’s trusted friend Esher was killed by Grendel’s Mother, when his body was discovered the king says “There’s no happiness to ask about! Anguish has descended on the Danes” showing Esher’s importance to the country (1322-3). Beowulf again goes to Denmark to exact revenge for a death of a nobleman. Beowulf lived in peace for the next fifty years of his life until a dragon takes hold of Geatland killing many innocents. With age he weakened and going into this battle he was aware of his fate still says “the Geats deserved revenge”(2335). He is willing to get revenge for the innocent and his country knowing that he will not make it out of this battle.   

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