Beowulf: The Archetypal Germanic Hero Analytical Essay by icfirat

Beowulf: The Archetypal Germanic Hero
A discussion on how Beowulf can be considered as the "true" hero of his time.
# 26205 | 1,058 words | 0 sources | 2002 | US
Published on Apr 27, 2003 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis)

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This paper reviews the 8th century epic poem "Beowulf" and analyzes the qualities that make Beowulf a true Germanic hero. It examines how Beowulf's character exemplifies the Germanic and the Anglo-Saxon ideals of the hero-- strong, fearless, bold, loyal and stoic in the acceptance of fate. It shows how despite his lack of humility, Beowulf was the definition of a hero in his own time by his demonstration of chivalry and his important roles in society.

From the Paper:

"Beowulf's leadership skills were just as impressive as his heroic characteristics. He was just as valiant and courageous as a king as he was a warrior. Beowulf was not only the archetypal hero, but also the ideal Germanic king. In order for one to understand what a good king was, Halfdane related an example of a bad king to Beowulf. Halfdane's example of Heremond was that he was a horrible ruler because he was "bloodthirsty"(1719), "killed his own comrades"(1714) and at the end of his life, "gave no more rings"(1719). In contrast, Beowulf as a king was compassionate towards his warriors and was a "lavisher of rings"(3009). "

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