Beowulf - An Epic Hero Essay
710 Words3 Pages
Beowulf An Epic Hero Beowulf: An Epic Hero
Being a hero can be defined many different ways. Several qualities like courage, respect, and strength can define heroism. A hero is noted for his or her actions for being brave, powerful, and acting with honor. In the epic poem, Beowulf, the main character Beowulf shows all of these characteristics by defending the Danish king, Hrothgar, and his people. He is a true hero by honoring his country and exerting his power and strength to protect others. Beowulf embodies the qualities of bravery, being powerful, and demonstrating his honor; therefore, he can be considered a true hero. A way Beowulf demonstrates his heroism is the way he stays true to the Geats by honoring them. Before…show more content…
1822-1826). Beowulf’s honor far exceeds the average person’s, and his actions and words show for it.
Not only is Beowulf honorable and well respected, he is brave as well. His courage is shown by not hesitating to risk his own life to pursue the Dane’s enemies. By being self-assured, Beowulf is able to successfully defeat the fiends, Grendel and his infamous mother. At the time Beowulf is planning to pursue the vindictive dragon, the epic poem states, “I’ve never known fear, as a youth I fought in endless battles. I am old now, but I will fight again, seek fame still, If the dragon hiding in his tower dares to face me.”(ll. 2511-2515). He feels no fear, is confident in fighting the dragon alone, and has no qualms in risking his life to save others. He declares his bravery by saying, “When he comes to me I mean to stand, not run from his shooting flames, stand till fate decides which of us wins... No one else could do what I mean to, here, no man but me could hope to defeat this monster.”(ll. 2525-2534). In his actions, Beowulf’s bravery is clearly shown throughout the poem.
A final example of heroic qualities shown by Beowulf is his power. The mental and physical strength is mandatory to being a hero. No Dane, before Beowulf’s arrival, is able to defeat Grendel because of fear and
Odysseus as an Epic Hero Essay
932 Words4 Pages
The Odyssey is an example of Greek history portrayed in literature. As in all Greek literature, the epic hero Odysseus answers a call to action, suffers through great confrontation, and returns with a better understanding of life. Greek stories such as, The Odyssey set the stage for today's modern action movies with epic heroes such as Indiana Jones, Frodo from the Lord of the Rings, and Western cowboys like Roy Rogers and The Lone Ranger.
The first characteristic that makes Odysseus an epic hero is that he answers a call to action. Odysseus answers two calls to action in The Odyssey. His first call is to go to Troy with Agamemnon and rescue Helen even though his son Telemachus has just been born and his wife Penelope doesn't want him…show more content…
Odysseus realizes that Polyphemus is the only one that can move the boulder and devises a plan to blind Polyphemus while he is asleep. When Polphemus awakes, he moves the boulder to tell his brothers what has happened to him. Then Odysseus and his men sneak out of the cave by hiding under Polyphemus' sheep. When Odysseus' pride gets the best of him and he reveals his identity to Polyphemus, then Polyphemus lifts up a prayer to his father Poseidon and curses Odysseus.
Next Odysseus and his men go to the home of Aeolus, ruler of the winds. Aeolus gives Odysseus a bag containing all of the bad winds and stirs up a wind to send Odysseus and his men back to Ithaca. However, Odysseus' men thought that Aeolus had given Odysseus a bag of treasure and thought he wasn't going to share the treasure with them. When Odysseus falls asleep his men open the bag and the winds blow them away from Ithaca back to Aeolus. This time Aeolus will not help them because he believes the gods hate Odysseus. Now Odysseus and his men have to row to the land of the Laestrygonians, a race of powerful giants, who turn Odysseus' scouts into their dinner. Odysseus and his remaining men retreat to the ships, but the giants pelt the ships with boulders and sink them as they sit in the harbor. Only Odysseus' ship escapes.