The Analysis Of The Beowulf Character
Beowulf is not a hero, And he proves this himself throughout the poem. He is idolized as a hero and has all the traits of a hero, and almost everyone who reads this will agree, but when you go deeper into the meaning of the story you will truly see that beowulf is in fact not a hero but lacks some traits a true hero will need. You can see that in the poem he is just seeking for glory, and never gives anyone credit, yes, he is strong and brave but that doesnt mean he is a hero.
The first reason is beowulf seeks for glory but only for himself. He is a great soldier but when he went into battle he always put himself before others. “but i will fight again, seek fame still if the dragon hiding in his tower dares to face me”. He is merely too confident, which isn’t a bad thing, but can lead to destruction and disaster, and he is too cocky. He will continue fighting to seek more fame and more glory. In the poem he always says he is doing things for his people when really he is only doing them or himself. For example he didn’t need to fight the final battle but he did anyways because of his pride. He wanted to battle the dragon so he could receive all the gold and treasure for him, not for his people. Unfortunately at the end he died, and what happened to all the treasure? It was buried with him in his tomb, wasn’t even used to help his people.
Next reason is most for beowulf not being a hero is his bravery isn’t just “bravery” but more stupid. For example, the battle with Grendel, he literally asks to fight him without weapons. “ i have heard, too, that the monsters scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. Nor will I. My lord Higlac might think less of me if i let my sword go where my feet were afraid to, if i hid behind some broad linden shield; my hands alone shall fight for me, struggle for life against monster.) You could say it’s a sign of bravery for him wanting to fight this fight without weapons, but really it’s just him wanting to show off, and gain more glory. He didn’t need to fight without his weapons, and everyone already knows how strong and brave he is, so using a sword would not make anyone think less of him. No matter what he did, if he took grendel down, everyone would be amazed no matter what. He was also taking a big risk because if he would have lost the people would have suffered even longer from grendel, and he could have lost, but he took the chance because it looked better to fight with no weapons. So, no he didn’t need to use a sword but him not actually using a sword in a way proves my point in that he is not a true hero.
The last reason goes along with the others, that most of his actions are based on his pride, and how he wants others to perceive him. For example, the battle with grendels mom, it didn’t need to happen either, but he went and fought her and killed her, and after took grendels head with him. “They walked quickly, happily, across roads all of them remembered, left the lake and the cliffs alongside it, brave men staggering under the weight of grendels skull, too heavy for fewer than four of them to handle.) He didn’t need to fight the battle but he did, and he didn’t need to bring along the head of grendel, but he did, too show off and too receive more praise from others, so everyone knows what he has done. Also going back to the last battle, even with all the warnings about not fighting the dragon, he did anyways, and got himself killed.
Beowulf shows all the traits of a hero, brave, strong, courageous, but he lacks a few of the most important traits. He is selfish and prideful, he only cares about himself, and isn’t the best at making decisions which will not only benefit him but others as well. You could read this story and think he is a hero, he fought battles, he saved his people a few times, was able to receive treasure, but he did it full of pride, and with the risk of harming himself and others. He may seem like a hero but realistically he isn’t, anyone can be strong and brave, but it doesnt make them a hero: beowulf isn’t a hero.
Cite this Essay
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below