The Anglo-Saxon hero must possess many traits before becoming an actual hero. One must be ruthless, superhuman, and cunning, understand the need for sacrifice, have pride, and be courageous. The goal of many Anglo-Saxon heroes' is to change their fate and the actions that they take can sometimes be unethical and immoral; however, they always seem to succeed in their goal. Both Beowulf and Buliwyf (The 13th Warrior) had all the characteristics of being Anglo-Saxon heroes.
Beowulf is one of the most known Anglo-Saxon hero's of the past and present. He had unfaltering loyalty to his King and his allies, his endurance and strength were incredible and he always defeated all of his opponents. Beowulf's courage was motivated by the want to change his fate, and in turn the course of his fate was changed because of the brutal actions that he took. Instead of defeating Grendal with his brain he chose to defeat him with his hands. Just this alone, shows that Beowulf had a lot of self pride, superhuman strength, and was extremely courageous. He used his theory of power instead of brains in all three of his battles, and successfully defeated Grendal, Grendal's mother, and the Dragon. At the beginning of the poem Beowulf gave a speech to Hrothgar, that either win or lose would make him always be remembered. "I hereby renounce sword and shelter of the broad shield, the heavy war-board: hand-to-hand is how it will be and a life and death fight with a fiend" (436). By Beowulf stating that he was going to fight this beast bear handed in order for it to be fair, and then following through with it, made him famous. When Beowulf died he had achieved the goal of the Anglo-Saxon hero, which was to be immortalized. His body was made into a shrine for people to honor him, and up to this present day in time he is still being honored as one of the greatest Anglo-Saxon hero's.
Buliwyf was the hero of the movie The 13th Warrior, and also carried the traits of a Anglo-Saxon hero. His intelligence is portrayed when he shows Ahmad how fast he has learned how to write "sounds." Buliwyf was not going to let his people continue to get slaughtered by the eaters of the dead, so he very willingly took them into battle against them. Buliwyf was also very strong and brutal and was determined to kill their leader. Before he could reach the leader however, he found the mother and killed her, but she also killed him with her poison. In the end of this movie, Buliwyf sacrificed his last bit of energy, and life to go into the last battle with the eaters of the dead. He used all of his superhuman powers and ruthlessly walked into the middle of battle and killed the leader. Once he had achieved this, he met death and he too was immortalized.
Anglo-Saxon Concept of Wyrd and Destiny
The Anglo-Saxon concept of wyrd and destiny appear that they could mean the same thing; however, are very different from each other. Wyrd means "turn," or "that which has...