Examples Of Heroism In Beowulf

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Society’s premonition of heroes and anti-heroes is based on the traits that are considered superior or admirable at the time in which the heroes exist. In the Anglo-Saxon period, someone considered a hero would have been a great warrior whose legacy survived after his death, while someone considered an anti-hero would have been the opposite. In Beowulf, an anonymous epic tale from the Anglo-Saxon period, the monster Grendel terrorizes the king Hrothgar of Denmark and his people. After 12 years, the great hero Beowulf goes on an odyssey to see Hrothgar and declares that he is going to fight and kill the monster Grendel. Beowulf fights Grendel and wins, which angers Grendel’s mother, who Beowulf then has to fight. Beowulf defeats Grendel’s mother and returns to his homeland where he becomes king. After ruling peacefully for 50 years, Beowulf’s people are threatened by a…show more content…
He is an interloper and a monster that terrorizes innocent people. Easily cast away from society without a second thought. However, when you consider Grendel’s story, can you still write him off so easily? The Danes considered Grendel a monster before he even proved himself to be one. They ostracize him make him a pariah, giving him no chance to prove himself. He was, “shut away from men,” causing him to, “split/ into a thousand forms of evil,” (Beo, 58-59). If you were treated this way, would you not become bitter? After being called a monster repeatedly by those around you, would you not become one? In “On Making Him a Good Man by Calling Him a Good Man” by David Eggers, Eggers states that “to be named is to be realized… once something like that is settled…we no longer need to struggle, to guess, to err,” (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann). If Grendel was called something other than a monster, he may have become it. However, society shaped Grendel into a monster by calling him a monster. The Danes shaped Grendel into what he is, and thus, shaped their

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