Beowulf: Hero of the Anglo-Saxons The epic poem Beowulf describes one of the most heroic men to the Anglo-Saxons, the hero Beowulf. The Anglo-Saxons admired many of the different traits that Beowulf demonstrates throughout the story. The Anglo-Saxons view Beowulf as a hero because of his super strength, compassion, and willingness to die for his cause. Beowulf is a hero in the eyes of the Anglo-Saxons because of his amazing almost super-human physical strength. He fought in many battles and returned victorious from all but his last. Beowulf’s strength is put on display, as he is able to kill Grendel with his bare hands by ripping off his arm.
The author describes by saying, “hell’s captive caught in the arms Of him who of all the men on earth Was the strongest.” (363-365).
Later when Beowulf is fighting Grendel’s mother, who is seeking revenge on Beowulf for the death of her son, he is able to slay the horrible beast by slicing off her head with the giant’s sword that can only be lifted by a person that possesses an eminence amount of strength. After chopping off the she-beasts head he travels deeper into the lair in search of Grendel’s lifeless body. After he finds the body Beowulf removes Grendel’s head and carries it to the top of the water with him, but it takes four men to lift and carry the beast’s head back to mead-hall.
This incredible strength is a key trait of Beowulf’s heroism. Another heroic trait of Beowulf is his ability to put the needs others in front of his own physical well-being. Once Beowulf learns of the happenings in Denmark he wastes no time preparing and army and beginning his journey. Beowulf risks his own life for the Danes, asking for nothing in return. The author shows Beowulf’s compassion toward Hrothgar and his men, if we ” ve heard The truth, and been told honestly that your country Is cursed with some strange, vicious creature / It’s said that has slaughtered Your people, brought terror to the darkness. Perhaps Hrothgar can hunt, here in my heart, For some way to drive this devil out (185-192).
Heroes are examples of what is good and noble in a culture. British culture has changed their view of a hero between the 5th century and the 10th century. Anglo-Saxon literature is literature expressed orally during the Anglo-Saxon period of Britain, from the 5th century to the Norman conquest. During the Anglo-Saxon era, warriors were to follow a strict code of heroic behavior emphasizing ...
He realizes the dangers but fears nothing for his own life. After Beowulf had served his people as King for fifty years, he goes to battle one last time to fight a horrible dragon that is terrorizing his people. Beowulf is old and tired but he defeats the dragon, at the cost of his life, in order to protect his people. Even in death he wished so secure safety for the Gets so he crowned Wig laf king in order to ensure the future well being of his people. The trait most admired by the Anglo-Saxons within Beowulf is that he is not afraid to die for his cause.
Before engaging in any preplanned battle he lets his warriors know his final wishes incase he should die. He has this peace with death from knowing when one dies fighting a beast like Grendel or Grendel’s mother he will achieve immortality as the victor or the loser. Even with the enormous amount of confidence Beowulf possesses, he understands that Fate will be the ultimate outcome no matter what, and he could be killed at any point in any battle or at any point in his life. He faces this reality by showing no fear and preparing for a positive or a fatal outcome to each and every battle. The Anglo-Saxons admire Beowulf for many reasons.
First of all, the culture was coming upon hard times and needed something positive to believe in during the time of this poem. Second Beowulf was view as a morally good man this was very important to the Anglo-Saxons. Finally, Beowulf embodies all the traits that the culture views as important during this period.