Heroism and Heroes in the Beowulf Poem

Military might and conquest have always been attributed to heroes. Every generation has young people believing in past heroes and often set out to go to war in the name of echoing and promoting the values of one fighting for their nation or their glory. The epic of Beowulf comes out as an illustration of a hero’s effort to rid his society of the existing and attacking monsters. With societies divided among themselves and facing extinction from attacks by monsters, it comes as no surprise the effort by Beowulf to ensure the society remains safe. Even in death, he moves to work and leaves behind a society that lacks harassment from the monsters. As such, killing the dragon and ending up sacrificing his life in the process makes him both a saint and hero.

Upon arriving at Danes and docking, Beowulf gets off the ship and asserts his stand and mission to the guards. He tells them who they were and the reason they had come to the land. In addition, he recounts his heroic deeds to the king to give him credit before asserting that he could defeat Grendel in a one-on-one fight. King Hrothgar becomes peaceful upon hearing the tales and getting the assurance that Grendel would no longer be a threat to the Heorot kingdom. As such, by explaining that he was not afraid of the death, the narration presents a scenario of real courage, which surpasses that of death. Beowulf thus presents an individual who has already delegated his fate into the hands of the gods and hence, he believes when his time to die comes, he will die in the end. As such, with the ability and permission to live on a particular day, he would rather live it to the fullest instead of speculating over things he had no control over.

While courage is at the heart of different heroes, nobility and keeping one’s word is essential in promoting credibility and reliability. When Heorot and Beowulf begin feasting, Unfearth approaches Beowulf and inquires upon the race they had with Brecca and goes on to assert that many warriors had come before him and all failed to defeat Grendel, and the same fate awaited Beowulf. However, the trust Beowulf has in his skills leads him to assert that, “when the going was heavy in those high waves, I was the strongest swimmer of all,” which aims to let Unfearth know that back then when he raced Brecca and even in the present moment, he was more than a match for the present monster. He further challenges Unfearth’s view that he was the strongest and he would not allow Grendel to get away with killing so many of Heorot’s population.

Grendel recognizes the fact that, the kingdom has no strong people capable of challenging his murdering spree. However, Beowulf asserts that he would be different. Through such assertions, Beowulf recognizes and appreciates his strength to stand up to any monster, a fit that he fulfills when he drives Grendel under the Fen-bank mortally wounded. Through the act of defeating Grendel, he fulfilled his stand of being the greatest warrior in the region. While heroes are great individuals, they must be able to keep their words through actions for the public to believe in them.

Going through Beowulf presents the belief of the existence of the gods and how they work to protect the mortals. Moreover, the story is an illustration of hope held by different people whenever they are faced with uncertainty and chaos. Heroes often arise in the midst of chaotic ascriptions where societies are under the threat of elimination. As in the case of Beowulf, he comes at a time when Heorot was at its lowest with most people preferring to go to far off lands for their safety. Even in such a situation, they believed in the hope that a savior would come to save them from the clutches of Grendel. As illustrated at the beginning of the story, the story narrates a prophetic view of what the future holds of the Danish people and how a leader that stands above all will come to redeem them.

Additionally, the shield was meant to be even when the man crossed over to the keeping of the Lord as stated, “Shield was still thriving when his time came, and he crossed over into the Lords keeping.” To theological analysts, the statement means the word of God and how it protects one from chaos as they await their death. Another aspect that is interesting is the asserting of god-cursed, a fit that is similar to the banishment and curse of the devil by God for eternity. The glee in Grendel’s eyes was one of pure evil as he surveyed how he would rip people’s lives out in the night. To Grendel, causing misery to the Danes people was what he enjoyed the most, which is similar to the feelings derived by a devil.

The current world is a combination of hypocritical and personal centeredness of people. However, the same lessons promoted in the heroic epics are still present in the present-day comics. For example, the production studios present heroes like Black Panther, Captain America, Batman and others who promote and share the same message promoted by Beowulf. As such, it is a call for masses to remain hopeful regardless of the situation they may be going through. Just as the people of Heorot remained optimistic in the face of Grendel’s attacks, so does the world need to continue believing regardless of whether the situation is dire or not.