The main character of a famous Anglo-Saxon epos gave its name to this poem. It has such great importance in the literary legacy of humanity that a Beowulf epic hero essay has become a common task to write for the students. It is a typical narration about heroes and gods. According to the research, most probably the Angles and Saxons brought these legends from their native lands, but at the same time, they demonstrate the impact of Christianity on them. The main plot of this English poem of the old days tells the story of a terrible attack of the dragon and monster Grendel on the country and a glorious victory of this hero over them. This victory helped to prevent complete devastation.

If you are a student who has got a Beowulf theme essay task from your professor, you probably have a lot of questions about it. You have chosen just the right service to get help! We know for sure that a lot of students have already struggled through this heroic poem as the dialects used in it are confusing for a modern person. Besides, it is complicated to analyze the motives of the main characters in this outstanding piece of literature. Overall, this poem is not easy for common comprehension and the analysis of the characters makes the students face numerous issues. This article is focused on how to make an essay on Beowulf really impressive. It includes a lot of exciting and thought-provoking facts about this poem and inspires the students to further analyze it. Meanwhile, it is essential to be aware of the background of the poem to write a great essay about this famous hero.

Beowulf Epic Hero Essay: What You Need to Know Before You Start Writing

This prominent piece of Old English literature contains 3,182 lines with alliteration as the key literary device. There is no rhyme in the poem and the unity of the form is ensured with the help of the rhythm. The approximate time when this poem was written is between 975 and 1025. It used to be without any title. The period presented in the poem covers the time when the Anglo-Saxon tribes just started coming to the lands of England. It was the 6th century, and only later on the scholars offered to name the main character of the poem – Beowulf. It is a combination of fiction, actual history, and elements of legends Angles and Saxons have.

First of all, you surely ask the question, “Who was Beowulf?” It is a unique poem that mentions the hero named Beowulf, and no other source can confirm that he actually existed. Thus, it is, most probably, a fictional character, but the events and places mentioned in the epos are real. There is a lot of evidence from history and archeology that the mentioned tribes, battles, and kings were real; however, the name of the hero is not mentioned anywhere. It is also important to note that some sections of this poem resemble those from other legends of Scandinavia and Denmark.

Frequently Asked Questions about Beowulf

  • Was the main character a hero?

Beowulf fights the fire of the dragon, Grendel the monster, and his mother. He acts as a protagonist of the poem, and his deeds show that he is one of the brightest personalities and strongest warriors of his time. He personifies the most powerful hero with all the specific values of such a person.

  • Which traits of character make him a hero?

Beowulf is a courageous, loyal, honest, and physically strong person who demonstrates faith and superhuman character. He starts to fight against the monster and his mother voluntarily without any pressure from outside.

  • Does he have any weaknesses?

Writing a Beowulf epic hero essay, you should definitely mention that pride and ego made Beowulf weaker. He faced all the challenges without any help as he could not accept any help. It is one of the most distinctive features which make him different from the heroes of Roman and Greek legends, who get defeated because of a certain tragic flaw.

  • Is it possible to refer to the poem as a folk epic?

Characters in Beowulf and the story that makes its plot allow referring to this poem as a ‘society epic’. It shows how the nation was formed, but at the same time, it gives examples of the lifestyle of people and talks about the manner how all that happened. Even the preamble to this story gives a hint that makes it clear that it is a society, not a folk epic.

  • Is Beowulf an epic hero?

Scholars often refer to this piece of literature as a Beowulf epic poem. Was this hero a saint? Not really. He thought too much about himself and he desired rewards and distinction for what he had done.

  • Which characteristics make an epic poem?

It is generally known that an epic is a story with the length of a book or so, which has a refrain structure and tells about heroic deeds of a single person or a group of people. Epic legends always mention fantastic events, superhuman powers of the heroes, and the expressive culture of the people, and all that is done in a specific language.

Guidance on Writing a Beowulf Epic Hero Essay

If you get an essay on Beowulf, should it be a summary of the plot? What should you tell in the Beowulf essay introduction? Which type of academic paper is suitable for the analysis of this poem? You have a lot of questions, but the main thing you can be sure about is that what you need is an essay with five paragraphs, no matter which theme or prompt you have.

Our main advice is as follows: never disregard writing an outline! It will serve you as a table of contents and you will not get off track. Do your research and work on your outline simultaneously.

Do not think about things you should write in the Beowulf essay conclusion or introduction now. Your task is to produce a great essay in a couple of hours. Let’s start. There is no need to mention that you should know the plot and read the poem several times. The knowledge of a summary will not do! After you have read the poem and you do not ask such questions as ‘who is the author of Beowulf?’ you can proceed to the following stages:

Choose an outstanding topic and write a thought-provoking thesis. You do not have to give the answer to the question ‘what is Beowulf about?’ Instead, you have to make the readers excited about this poem.

Do profound research and cover all essential points in the outline. We remind you again that it is a matter of crucial concern!

Write the introduction. Provide the background of the story and highlight the key Beowulf hero characteristics in the thesis statement. Transition sentences play a great role in the effect your essay will produce.

Work on the body paragraphs. Each of the three paragraphs should cover only one idea. You state what it is in the first sentence and then give the supporting details.

Conclude the essay. Give a summary of what you have written from a fresh perspective and make sure that the thesis you have has substantial support throughout the essay. You may add a call to action as well, but it is not a mandatory task.

Do the editing. Check whether your writing flows logically and sounds objective.

Do the proofreading. Typos matter! You can write your essay on ‘Why is Beowulf an epic hero?’ and then order a proofreading service from us.

The task does not look that challenging now, does it?

Have a look at the sample to get inspired!

‘Beowulf’ is one of the oldest poems written in Old English. The poem arose on the basis of ancient Germanic traditions related to pagan times. These legends appeared among Germanic tribes long before the Anglo-Saxon resettlement on the territory of Britain. The action of the poem takes place on the shores of the Baltic Sea, its plot is borrowed from German mythology. Beowulf, as the main character of the epic poem, is a significant representative of the Anglo-Saxon hero. Thus, such qualities of hero as courage, fearlessness, devotion, selflessness, and honesty reflect the personality of Beowulf and are celebrated in the poem.

Beowulf possesses the main qualities, which should have every hero in Germanic mythology. It could be stated that the presented poem is mainly focused on the depiction of Beowulf as thoughtful and genuine hero. In order to reinforce the heroic qualities and values of Beowulf, the poem presents the character named Unferth, who has completely opposite values. In addition, to strengthen Beowulf heroism, the poem depicts the arrival of the hero and his crew as something remarkable: “Men climbed eagerly up the gangplank, sand churned in surf, warriors loaded a cargo of weapons…in their wood-wreathed ship”. Thus, it could be stated that that the arrival of Beowulf to the king of the Danes marks the beginning of the feats of Beowulf.

Without any doubts courage is the main quality of the concept of a hero in the ‘Beowulf.’ Moreover, it could be assumed that this quality is a firm and strong basis around which other qualities of the hero are gathered and expressed. The poem provides three different conflicts that Beowulf has to challenge. Each of them requires many heroic qualities; however, a person without courage would never agree to face them. For example, the fight with mother of Grendel could be treated as the worst one, since Beowulf should descend to her lair not knowing what awaits him there. However, the poem describes the excessive courage of genuine hero by the following lines “Beowulf got ready, donned his war-gear, indifferent to death; his mighty, hand-forget, fine-webbed mail would soon meet the menace underwater.” Beowulf is “indifferent to death,” which indicates his partial recklessness on the one hand, and remarkable and outstanding courage on the other. It could be stated that recklessness is not something negative in the presented epic poem. More likely, it is an additional attribute of genuine hero and his courage. Thus, the concept of hero in ‘Beowulf’ is based on the courage.

As well as courage, fearlessness is another important attribute of the concept of the hero in ‘Beowulf.’ The main character of the poem does not show any fear during his encounters with the monsters. One of the most prominent examples of fearlessness is swimming match of Beowulf with Breca. While competing with his friend Breca, Beowulf encounters horrible sea creatures which want to kill him. Yet, he does not strive to avoid them, but bravely challenge them having only one sword. As a result Beowulf kills nine monsters and states that “From now on sailors would be safe, the deep-sea raids were over for good”. In comparison, to fight with Grendel and Dragon when Beowulf had its crew which could help him, this sea raid is an outstanding act of fearlessness for the sake of the people safeness. Thus, it becomes clear that the concept of hero in ‘Beowulf’ includes fearlessness for the sake of other people.

One of the qualities, which compile the concept of hero in ‘Beowulf,’ is selflessness of the main character. The settlement of Danes was devastated by Grendel for 12 years. Beowulf who “belongs by the birth to the Geat people” was not obligated to help Danes. However, being a genuine hero, he decided that his strengths and skills could help Hrothgar to find a “way to defeat his enemy and find respite”. Such action of Beowulf describes him as a noble and selfless person who wants to help people. The attempt of Beowulf to fight Grendel could be explained as the will to become a genuine hero, the feats of which will be inscribed in the annals of history. The hero could lose his wealth and material benefits, but his deeds will not go anywhere. It is a treasure that could not be lost, because it is impossible to lose real honor; hence, that fact strengthens even more Beowulf’s heroic personality. Thus, the concept of hero in the presented poem emphasizes that the true hero could not be hesitated by the gold or power in order to conduct heroic action.

Another important value of the hero, which is celebrated in the presented epic poem, is honesty. Especially, it is vividly depicted in the scene of preparation of Beowulf to the fight with Grendel in Heorot. Despite the fact that Beowulf is endowed with superhuman strength, he realizes that Grendel is a “grim demon.” Yet, Beowulf decides to challenge Grendel honestly not using any weapon. Beowulf states about the Grendel that “He has no idea of the arts of war, of shields or swords-play although he poses a wild strength.” Hence as a genuine hero of Germanic epic, Beowulf claims that “no weapon therefore for either of us this night…”. Thus, it seems that the concept of hero, presented in the poem, describes honesty and as one of the major attributed of genuine hero.

The last but not the least attribute of genuine hero in the presented poem is devotion. It seems that concept of hero in ‘Beowulf’ could not be explained without reference to loyalty and dedication to the noble purpose. Despite all feats, braveness, and honesty, Beowulf is depicted as devoted person and all his acts are aimed toward certain noble purpose. In the second part of the presented poem, the reader could observe the level of dedication of King Beowulf to his people. Beowulf claims “Now I am old, but as a king of the people I shall pursue this fight for the glory of winning…”. These lines refer to the scene where Beowulf faces Dragon. Thus, in the face of terrible beast, Beowulf cannon stay aside but acts as genuine king who is dedicated to his people. Thus, it becomes obvious that devotion is an important attribute in the concept of the hero.

Despite main values and characteristic of the hero, which are celebrated in ‘Beowulf,’ the poem depicts Unferth whose behaviors are condemned and contradict the concept of hero. Unferth is sneaky and unjust person who tries to prove that heroism of Beowulf is fabricated. Unferth is highly jealous person who contradicts to all statements of the heroic code of Beowulf. Moreover, it is obvious that Unferth has no courage to face monsters and all his deeds are aimed to ensure his own profit. Without any doubts, the poem depicts Unferth as the person who will never be inscribed in the annals of history. Therefore, the image of Unferth significantly emphasizes what qualities and attributes should not be the part of the concept of hero.

To conclude, courage, fearlessness, devotion, selflessness, and honesty are the main qualities of the hero in the poem Beowulf. The presented epic poem is focused on the heroic feats of Beowulf. He is a selfless hero who arrives to help Hrothgar to fight Grendel. Beowulf is honest person who follows the rules of fair fight. The poem emphasized that courage should be the basic attribute of the hero, which makes him to be “indifferent to death.” Fearlessness and devotion are also important values of hero that define his way of life. In the presented poem, Unferth is an example of the qualities that should be condemned.

It is not easy to write about Beowulf, but our expert writers know everything about this poem and can help you get excellent grades for your writing tasks. You can request a perfect topic from us or even order to write the entire essay. It is really simple to get assistance from us! Contact us and give us your instructions any time, 24 hours a day. We will definitely assist you!

December 16, 2021
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