Whereas the youthful Beowulf, having nothing to lose, desires personal glory, the aged Hrothgar, having much to lose, seeks protection for his people.
The poem contains several stories that concern divided loyalties, situations for which the code offers no practical guidance about how to act. The code is also often in tension with the values of medieval Christianity. For example, the poet relates that the Danish Hildeburh marries the Frisian king.
Before he goes into a battle or fights any of the monsters he faces, he makes sure his men will be taken care of. When, in the war between the Danes and the Frisians, both her Danish brother and her Frisian son are killed, Hildeburh is left doubly grieved.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.
Characters take pride in ancestors who have acted valiantly, and they attempt to live up to the same standards as those ancestors.
His men also honor him after his death, memorializing him as the epic hero he has proven himself to be. Beowulf is also incredibly brave and willing to put himself into physical danger to save the lives of others.
It also holds that he must provide them with protection and the sanctuary of a lavish mead-hall. For example, an epic hero will have extraordinary strength. Throughout the poem, the poet strains to accommodate these two sets of values.
The difference between these two sets of values manifests itself early on in the outlooks of Beowulf and King Hrothgar. Thus individual actions can be seen only as either conforming to or violating the code. Later in his life, when he is much older, Beowulf sacrifices himself fighting a dragon to protect his kingdom.
His transition demonstrates that a differing set of values accompanies each of his two roles. He is larger-than-life in the sense that his qualities exceed those of regular humans. An epic hero is not perfect or immortal, but he is a sort of super human.
The heroic code requires that a king reward the loyal service of his warriors with gifts and praise. While the code maintains that honor is gained during life through deeds, Christianity asserts that glory lies in the afterlife. He is their lord, and they swear fealty to him. Beowulf is repaid by one of his men, who finishes off the dragon after it has mortally wounded Beowulf himself.
Grendel is an imposing beast who has already easily destroyed a number of men, including warriors who are strong and experienced fighters.
For example, Shield Sheafson, the legendary originator of the Danish royal line, was orphaned; because he was in a sense fatherless, valiant deeds were the only means by which he could construct an identity for himself. Though he is Christian, he cannot and does not seem to want to deny the fundamental pagan values of the story.
Traditional and much respected, this code is vital to warrior societies as a means of understanding their relationships to the world and the menaces lurking beyond their boundaries. Characters in the poem are unable to talk about their identity or even introduce themselves without referring to family lineage.
The Importance of Establishing Identity As Beowulf is essentially a record of heroic deeds, the concept of identity—of which the two principal components are ancestral heritage and individual reputation—is clearly central to the poem. Beowulf later also demonstrates the epic trait of being a just ruler of his people, the Geats, and sacrificing his life to slay the dragon that threatens them.
Some of these traits include his larger-than-life physical strength, his courage in the face of extreme danger, and his loyalty to both his superiors and to the men who serve him.
Beowulf embodies several traits that make him a textbook epic hero. Expert Answers karaejacobi Certified Educator Beowulf embodies several traits that make him a textbook epic hero.
He is responsible for them, and he holds up his end of the bargain. Tensions Between the Heroic Code and Other Value Systems Much of Beowulf is devoted to articulating and illustrating the Germanic heroic code, which values strength, courage, and loyalty in warriors; hospitality, generosity, and political skill in kings; ceremoniousness in women; and good reputation in all people.On the side of good, we have the hero Beowulf and his loyal follower Wiglaf, and on the side of evil, we have the monster Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon.
As Beowulf battles each of these representations of evil in succession, the lines between good and evil get a bit blurred. Good vs Evil in the Epic of Beowulf Essay examples; Good vs Evil in the Epic of Beowulf Essay examples the reader cannot mistake the roles being played, based on the characterizations in the epic, one recognizes each character for their purpose and place.
utilizes many characteristics of Christian themes, the violence in the poem. Beowulf’s personal characteristics include the heroic traits of loyalty, honor, bravery, faith, and superhuman strength. He demonstrates his sense of honor and his loyalty to Hrothgar by volunteering to kill Grendel and then Grendel’s mother.
It's all or nothing in this fight to the death: the good warrior Beowulf against the evil demon Grendel. Things can't get much more clear cut than that. Get an answer for 'What are important characteristics within Beowulf that make Beowulf an epic hero?' and find homework help for other Beowulf questions at eNotes.
This characteristic comes. Quiz & Worksheet - Heroic Characteristics of Beowulf Quiz; Course; if the evil one will only abandon his earth-fort and face me in the open.' When this powerful, loyal, courageous, and wise.Download