Beowulf is a character that possesses all the qualities of an Anglo-Saxon hero. He is strong, fearless, brave, courageous, and arrogant. But are these qualities enough to consider him a hero by the standards of today?
A hero not only needs to be physically outstanding, but he also needs to have integrity, moral values and needs to act without thinking in his own benefit. Beowulf has many characteristics of a hero but he also has some defects that make me think that he wouldn’t be considered a hero in today´s world. A hero concept evolves with a culture, Beowulf has many things that the Anglo-Saxons viewed as heroism but he misses many things that are important for a modern hero.
A hero has to go in a journey. He has to struggle throughout the story to grow as a character. They generally triumph at the story´s conclusion. Humans tend to admire the ones that had to suffer to be in the top. We like to associate heroism with someone that surpass many
challenges. “A man cannot become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall” Aristotle. Beowulf has many adventures and he fights Grendel and other monstrous creatures but he was very sure of himself. He was born being strong and we as an audience do not identify with that. “Of living strong men he was the strongest” . Beowulf had qualities that any other man had, but he
didn’t struggle to get them. We do not only look for someone that is sure of his supernatural strength. People today look for a hero that gives them hope and that is admirable because he keeps on struggling to reach his goals. Today a hero must have suffered challenges that make him grow as a better human.
Beowulf perfectly fulfills the characteristics of an epic hero because he fights for obtaining everything the nation wants. “ Foe against foe I´ll fight to the death, and the one who is taken must trust to god´s grace!... if death shall call me, he´ll carry away”. Beowulf has courage and that
is evident in an epic hero. He is leading a culture. He moves forward or he is killed but he fights until death for his goals. “Deed of daring and dream of honor bring you, friend Beowulf”. Epic heroes associate nobility and honor with war. Beowulf attacks his enemy looking for their eyes with pride and without fear. He criticizes Grendel saying: “Nothing he knows of noble fighting, fierce as he is in the fury war. In the shades of darkness we´ll spum the sword if he dares without weapon to do or to die”. For his strength and for his honor Beowulf gained the title of hero “And Beowulf gained the glory of battle “you have earned the undying honor of heroes… here each hero
is true to others, gentle of spirit, loyal to lord, friendly thanes and a folk united,...