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The epic poem, Beowulf, depicts the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. The hero, Beowulf, was an outstanding warrior with all the extraordinary values required by a hero. He was able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself. He encountered terrifying monsters and the most ferocious of beasts, but he never feared the threat of death. His leadership skills were excellent and he was able to boast about all his achievements. Beowulf was the ultimate epic hero who risked his life countless times for immortal glory and for the good of others. Common traits of an Anglo-Saxon warrior were physical strength, leadership skills and heroic stoicism, which Beowulf demonstrated throughout this poem.

Beowulf was a hero in the eyes of his fellow men through his amazing physical strength. He fought in numerous battles and returned victorious from all but his last. One of those victorious battles, was the battle against Grendel, in which Beowulf fought against a monster that had killed many men. "He twisted in pain, and the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder snapped, muscle and bone split and broke" (31.389). Beowulf showed his great strength by ripping Grendel's arm with his bare hands, which would be impossible for a regular human to do. When Beowulf fought Grendel's mother, who sought revenge for her son's death, he was able to defeat her as well. "From its scabbard, broke the chain on its hilt, and then savage, now, angry and desperate, lifted it high over his head and struck with all the strength he had left" (38.535). He was able to slay Grendel's mother by slashing the monster's neck with a giant's sword that could only be lifted by a person as strong as Beowulf. After defeating Grendel's mother, Beowulf decided to finish off Grendel by slashing the monster's neck with the giant sword. "Then struck off his head with a single swift blow. The body jerked for the last time, then lay still" (38.560). After Beowulf chopped off his head, he carried it from the ocean to Herot mead-hall with ease. The head was so enormously heavy that it would take four men to lift and carry it.

Another trait of Beowulf was his ability to put his people's welfare before his own. "Heard how Grendel filled night with horror and quickly commanded a boat fitted out, proclaiming that he'd go to that famous king, would sail across the sea to Hrothgar, now when he was needed" (23.113). Beowulf was sent to help rid the Danes from the evil Grendel. Beowulf, asking help from no one, risked his own life for the Danes. He was conscious of the dangers, but feared nothing for his own life. Beowulf designed a plan to defeat Grendel, which was to catch him at night. "Waiting to see his swift hard claws, Grendel snatched at the first Geat he came to, ripped him apart, cut his body to bits with powerful claws" (29.313). To defeat Grendel, Beowulf had to give up one of his men to catch the monster. While Grendel was eating his prey, Beowulf grabbed the monster and ultimately defeated it. Eventually, Beowulf became the King of the Geats. As he grew old, he decided to go on battle one last time to fight a horrible dragon, who frightened all of his people. "I've never known fear, as a youth I fought in endless battles. I am old, now, but I will fight again, seek fame still, if the dragon hiding in his tower dares to face me"



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