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Free Research Paper on Beowulf

Defending one’s country, helping a person in need, or just volunteering in the community; a hero can be anyone with a desire to help. Heroes quite often display a set of unique qualities that make them an upstanding member in their community. As displayed in the epic Beowulf, the main characteristics that a hero must posses are strength, bravery, and a strong set of values. Represented as an epic hero, Beowulf displays these heroic qualities with integrity and the desire to help others, even at his own expense.

Supreme strength accompanies Beowulf, helping represent him as a hero. Regarded as stronger than anyone anywhere in the world, Beowulf uses his strength only for good. In a fearsome encounter with an enemy Beowulf was called to fight, named Grendel, Beowulf used his strength to defeat the evil monster.

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Beowulf was able to strike fear within Grendel, as he defeated the beast by breaking off its arm (pg 34). In another encounter, this time with Grendel’s mother, Beowulf demonstrates his strength by lifting a sword so massive no ordinary man could lift it, killing Grendel’s mother with one swift blow. (pg 41). Assisted with his massive strength Beowulf uses it to protect others, making his strength part of what makes him a hero.

While Beowulf’s strength is unmatched, without the ability to be brave it would go unused. Beowulf is an extremely brave character, once putting himself in harms way by taking the place of Hrothgar’s followers to wait for Grendel to come during the night (pg 32). When it came to defending his people Beowulf was braver than ever, traveling to a dragon’s cave to defend his kingdom. Beowulf defended his kingdom even after his weapons failed him, using his hands and the strength in his fingers to prevail (pg 40). Beowulf even continued to fight when he believed that fate was against him, showing that bravery also contributes to his heroism.

Bravery and strength are both nessesary-contributing factors to being a hero, but a true hero must have a strong set of values to assist them. Beowulf believes strongly in fate, that everything is in God’s hands and he can only do his best, to defend what he thinks is right. Beowulf turns to fate and vows to fight with no sword or shield in his battle with Grendel, to let God decide who will prevail (pg 24). Beowulf talks of winning the good will of the people back, showing that he wants to secure the safety of the people he helps. Beowulf even reassures the Danish queen that his heart was firm and his hands were ready to help the people (pg 31). The values that Beowulf acts on add to what makes him a hero among his followers.

Values, bravery, and strength are all portrayed by Beowulf completing the qualities of a hero. Beowulf put his life on the line to defend innocent people, to help make them free from danger in their lives. Using bravery to stand firm in times of danger, and values to protect the innocent, leaving his strength to defeat the enemy, to better the lives of the people he reaches out to. Ultimately dying to protect his own people, Beowulf deserves to be remembered as an epic hero, immortalized in a story portraying his heroic acts.

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