Classifying whether or not Beowulf is an ideal hero, one would have to understand the definition of an ideal hero, and then the decision and whether he has any flaws within this understanding can be made. Beowulf identifies many traits to allow the reader to make his own assumption on this epic poem. According to the dictionary, “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities” (dictionary.com?) is the proper guideline to determine if a character is an ideal hero or not.
To begin, Beowulf exhibited many characteristics that suggested proper heroic qualities. “ He was strong, an outstanding fighter and very loyal to all who came into his presence” (Killenbeck, and Orci). When Beowulf had to present himself to kill Grendel, he made sure he did it with the upmost care to the people, their belongings, and Heorot. The people of Heorot, which made his determination to defeat Grendel even more powerful, invited him into a great feast before the battle. After he defeated the great Grendel, he was praised for his work and this only made Beowulf more loyal to these people of Heorot. Another great heroic aspect of Beowulf was the fact “he believed that no fighter should have the upper hand” (Killenbeck and Orci). Any fight that took place was thought to be as fair as possible. When Beowulf had to fight Grendel he knew that
the dragon had no extra equipment to increase his chances of conquering, therefore Beowulf didn’t take on any extra equipment and believed, “when it comes to fighting, I count myself as dangerous any day as Grendel” (Beowulf, line 677-678). Both Grendel and Beowulf believed they were excellent warriors and were ready to prove it. “Venturing closer, his talon was raised to attack Beowulf where he lay on the bed, he was bearing in with open claw when the alert hero's comeback and armlock forestalled him utterly. The captain of evil discovered himself in a handgrip harder than anything he had ever encountered in any man on the face of the earth” (Beowulf, line 744-752).
If it wasn’t for Beowulf’s confidence in himself and his skills, then the people of Heorot wouldn’t have known or wanted him to come and rescue them from this beast of the night in the first place. “Beowulf’s confidence, however helps to win them over, and could be one explanation for why he shows absolutely no fear or hesitation” (Zaragoza, 2). To become any well-known hero you have to have, at least, self-confidence and Beowulf did not lack that characteristic. That is the reason the people of Hrothgar's tribe continually called on him to secure the safety of their lives and Beowulf can be deemed as an example of an ideal hero. Other readers of Beowulf would testify the same characteristics, one writer believes Beowulf “express traits that would lead me to view Beowulf as not only heroic, but a good person, as all truly heroic people must be” (Zaragoza, 2).
Beowulf shows that he is in fact a good person and can...