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Characteristics of an Epic Hero
Transcript of Characteristics of an Epic Hero
Has Superior Strength, Intelligence, & Courage
Beowulf is so strong that even a needle fish couldn't swim faster than him.
Connection To Today
Significant & Glorified
"But to table, Beowulf, a banquet in your honor: Let us toast to your victories and talk of the future." -King Hrothgar (p. 26 lines 223-224)
After Beowulf defeats Grendel, the Danes tell of his courage
"They mounted their hard-hooved horses, high-spirited stallions, and rode them slowly toward Herot again, retelling Beowulf's bravery as they jogged along.....they swore that nowhere on earth or under the spreading sky or between the seas, neither north nor south, was there a warrior worthier to rule over men."(p. 35 lines 535-542)
Beowulf's quest is to protect Herot and rid evil from it.
"Grant me, then, Lord and protector of this noble place, A single request!" (p.25 lines 160-162)
"That I, alone and with the help of my men, May purge all evil from this hall." (p. 25 lines 165-166)
He has come to Herot from Geatland in Sweden
"Beowulf, the strongest of the Geats, heard how Grendel filled nights with horror, and quickly commanded a boat fitted out, proclaiming that he'd go to the famous king, would sail across the sea to Hrothgar, now when help was needed." (p. 23 lines 109-124)
Beowulf is on a quest for his own glory
"No man swims in the sea as I can, no strength is a match for mine" -Beowulf (p. 28 lines 266-267)
Even Grendel is shocked that he cannot free himself from Beowulf's grip
Is on a Quest
Instead of winning the swimming match with Brecca, he stays close to his side and fights the sea monsters cleaning out the sea. (p. 28 lines 274-291)
"He could never leave me behind, swim faster across the waves than I could, and I had chosen to remain close to his side. I remained near him for 5 long nights until a flood swept us apart..."
"...A monster seized me, drew me swiftly toward the bottom, swimming with its claws tight in my flesh. But fate let me find its heart with my sword, hack myself free; I fought that beasts last battle, left it floating lifeless in the sea."
Beowulf is merciful with Unferth who calls his victories 'luck' because he knows that he is drunk.
"Ah! Unferth my friend, your face is hot with ale, and your tongue has tried to tell us about Brecca's doings." (p. 27 lines 263-265)
Epic heroism was portrayed during the 9/11 Attacks with the self-sacrifice of first responders and the military people who volunteer again and again to serve their country, giving up the comforts of being safe with their families.
Is a Strong & Responsible Leader
Beowulf stands up even when he knows he cannot win the battle, showing that he is a responsible leader.
He can feel his death approaching as he is about to battle the dragon but he still fights (2588–2590)
He steps up and calls his men together when he hears that Herot is in need of help
"So Beowulf chose the mightiest men he could find, the bravest and best of the Geats, 14 in all, and led them down to their boat." (p.23 lines 120-122)
Beowulf and his men go to Herot
Reflects the ideal Anglo-Saxon
Beowulf shows both his bravery and strenght when he kills Grendel with his bear hands (p. 25 lines 172-174)
The ideal Anglo-Saxon is a strong and fearless warrior
He jumps into the water to fight Grendel's mother without hesitation. (p. 39 lines 570-578)
"For every one of us, living in this world
means waiting for our end. Let whoever can
win glory before death. When a warrior is gone,
that will be his best and only bulwark."
"Nowhere on earth had he met a man whose hands were harder; his mind was flooded with fear- but nothing could take his talons and himself from that tight hard grip" (p. 33 lines 430-437)