Beowulf as an Epic Hero and Leader

An epic hero is a brave and noble character in an epic poem. The character is admired for great achievements or affected by grand events. Beowulf displays an epic hero by being an unmatched warrior who was victorious among all men, a battler of supernatural foes, and he had capabilities of no ordinary mortal man. He was a brave warrior and a fierce leader in this epic poem. Beowulf was a prince and a warrior who was a hero among his people of Herot.

Beowulf throughout the poem is an unmatched warrior who battles fierce monsters that no ordinary man could claim victory over. Beowulf’s first battle was against Grendel, the monster from the swampland who wanted nothing but gruesome destruction against Beowulf and his people. “The battle was over, Beowulf had been granted new glory: Grendel escaped, but wounded as he was could flee to his den, his miserable hole at the bottom of the marsh, only to die, to wait for the end” (340-344, 43). Beowulf had purged herot clean and he was happy.

The Danes boasted as they praised the man from across the sea who would serve the Danes the way Beowulf did. “Now, with that night’s fierce work; the Danes had been served as he’d boasted he’d serve them; Beowulf, a prince of the Geats, had killed Grendel, ended the grief, the sorrow, the suffering forced on Hrothgar’s helpless people by a bloodthirsty fiend” (350-355, 43). Beowulf would never give up or show mercy during a fight as he would stand strong and brave above any single man. “Then Beowulf rose, still brave, still strong, and with his shield at his side, and a mail shirt on his breast, strode calmly, confidently, toward the tower, under the rocky cliffs: no coward could have walked there” (633-636, 53). Beowulf was a god among men, who would never be outdone and would never face defeat.

Beowulf spends much time in the poem battling supernatural foes like Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the Fierce Dragon in its castle. “Out from the marsh, from the foot of the misty hills and bogs, bearing God’s hatred, Grendel came, hoping to kill anyone he could trap on this trip to high Herot. He moved quickly through the cloudy night, up from his swampland” (233-238, 40). Beowulf’s next battle was against Grendel’s mother, the hideous monster from the fiery lake, where he was dragged to battle her.

“And all at once the greedy she-wolf who’d ruled those waters for half a hundred years discovers him, saw that a creature from above had come to explore the bottom of her wet world. She’d welcomed him in her claws” (454-458, 47). Beowulf would leave her lair victorious, taking with him the monsters head and the jeweled sword. Finally, it came time for Beowulf the battle the mighty Dragon who would become Beowulf’s toughest test. “Quickly, the dragon came at him, encouraged as Beowulf fell back; it’s breath flared, and he suffered, wrapped around in swirling flames” (687-690, 54).

Beowulf is a tremendous warrior and a brave prince, but he was no ordinary man this Beowulf, he was more of a god than a man. Compared to his people of Herot, Beowulf had supernatural capabilities. “His mind was flooded with fear-but nothing could take his talonsand himself from that tight hard grip. Grendel’s one thought was to run from Beowulf, flee back to his marsh and hide there” (276-279, 41). Grendel had defeated Grendel, leaving him to flee and die alone. Grendel’s mother lived under a fiery lake and for Beowulf this was not a tough task. “He leaped into the lake, would not wait for anyone’s answer; the heaving water covered him over. For hours he sank through the waves; at last he saw the mud of the bottom” (450-453, 47).

Beowulf would then be dragged to the battle-hall, where he would defeat the monster. Beowulf faced a tougher task defeating Grendel’s mother. He grabbed the sword, which hung along the wall and began his battle. “Then he saw, hanging on the wall, a heavy sword, hammered by giants, strong and blessed with their magic, the best of all weapons but so massive that no ordinary could lift its carved and decorated length, he drew it from its scabbard, broke the chain on its hilt, and then, savage, now, angry and desperate, lifted it high over his head and struck with all the strength he had left, caught her in the neck and cut it through, broke bones and all, her body fell to the floor, lifeless” (513-524, 49). Beowulf had slain Grendel’s mother.

Beowulf is an unordinary man who is a fierce defender in battle. He who served his people by defeating the harmful monsters had gave his life for his people. Unmatched in battle, Beowulf time and time again used his supernatural capabilities to protect his home. Beowulf was a fierce warrior who battled many supernatural foes. Beowulf is an epic hero.

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Beowulf as an epic hero and leader. (2021, Jul 05). Retrieved August 10, 2022 , from

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