Beowulf, Virtues Of A Hero


Ideals of conduct that are most respected by a particular society are often conveyed through the qualities of the heroic character in an epic poem. Beowulf exemplifies many of the characteristics admired by the Anglo-Saxon culture. Four virtues demonstrated in Beowulf were courage, strength, boastfulness, and intelligence.
His bravery is illustrated as he 'quickly commanded a boat filled out…now when his help was needed.' He does not fear his own death when approaching he battle but 'expect[s] no Danes will fret about [his] shrouds if [Grendel] wins.' The Geats gave 'yielded benches to the brave visitors,' which include Beowulf. This courageous hero encounters hideous monsters ...

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'loss' in a swimming competition into a tale in which he not only swims for hours wearing a 'mail shirt' and carrying a 'naked sword' but also kills several sea monsters. Although he would seem a braggart in our culture this display, quite the opposite of modesty, was respected and even admired by the Anglo-Saxons.
His intelligence becomes evident when he opts to enter his battle with Grendel sans any weapons. His wit is obvious when he realizes that 'the monster's scorn for men is so great the he needs no weapon and fears none.' He understands that the monster can use his own weapons against him, and that '[his] hands alone shall fight for [him], struggle for life against the monster.' His cunning is again palpable with his plan to wait in the hall for Grendel.

All of the characteristics that Beowulf possesses must have been the same as those admired by the Anglo-Saxons. Those in society would aspire to be like Beowulf, and in turn gain these qualities. The traits that are ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 9/15/2008 04:42:07 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 389
Pages: 2

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