A true hero does not fear death but instead risks all that he is for what he believes to be right, moral, and just. Revered by many, Beowulf is considered to be one of the most renowned Anglo-Saxon poems of all time. Beowulf faces death defying feats that no ordinary man would be able to complete, thus earning the hero status. Beowulf encountered many battles, where he selflessly put his own life on the line to stop evil from tormenting the people of the Danes. He traveled across the sea, killing Grendel, slaying Grendel’s mother and ultimately fighting the last battle of his life against the dragon, thus exemplifying him as an epic hero.
Beowulf’s heroicness is recognized in the many battles he faced where he displayed supernatural qualities. The first monster Beowulf encounters is Grendel. He is a monster, who occupies a human-like form; similar to Satan, because he is superhuman in size and strength and is hostile towards man. He has terrorized Herot for twelve years. Before Beowulf attempted to rid the land of Grendel, men tried to slaughter him, “but their points could not hurt him, the sharpest and hardest iron could not scratch at his skin. Beowulf’s extraordinary strength is evident by the dismemberment of Grendel’s limb and fate during the battle in the mead hall of the King. In Beowulf’s early life, he swam for seven days with his companion Breca, killing sea monsters by night. During his swim match with Breca, Beowulf dressed in full armor, was attacked by nine sea monsters and killed all of them. After Grendal’s death, Hrothgar’s men believe they will no longer be plagued and now they can sleep in peace. However, their sleep did not last long. During the night, Grendel’s mother came to avenge her son’s death.
She enters the hall, grabs her son’s arm and Aeschere, a great warrior. Beowulf sets out to find her in the underwater lair and avenge her death. Once he is in Grendel’s mother’s mere, Beowulf remains underwater for more than a day. Finally, Beowulf kills Grendel’s mother, and her blood melts his sword. Thus far, Beowulf has killed two man-like monsters. Beowulf’s battle with a dragon is his last battle and ultimately seals his fate. When Beowulf failed to kill the dragon, “with all his strength, smashed the gray blade into the beast’s head but then Nagling broke to pieces… Then, Beowulf uses his dagger to cut the beast in half and slit it apart. Conquering all evil, Beowulf leaves his people safely, while he dies next to Wiglaf, the only loyal Geat who follows Beowulf to fight the dragon. These elements evident in Beowulf serve to display the heroic qualities of the epic’s protagonist. Beowulf is seen to be a superhero because of the feats and tasks he engages in and the honor and valor he demonstrated. After analyzing Beowulf’s three battles, one can easily see the elements of heroism in this epic that make Beowulf a true hero, warrior and adventurer.