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Critical Essay on Beowulf

Beowulf is an epic poem in which the plot is intended to portray the unique heroism of German warriors. As the poem’s main personality, Beowulf displays exceptional boldness and extraordinary strength whenever confronted by fierce enemies. Additionally, he takes pride in his glorious actions that have earned him great fame throughout the poem. The reader can easily recognize in the epic the great heroic values of a society, such as the commitment to honor the responsibilities of a leader, whilst at the same time disregarding the safety of his warriors in an effort to defeat a dangerous foe. For instance, Beowulf allows Grendel to kill some of the warriors in an effort to surprise Grendel when he reaches for Beowulf. Beowulf also sets aside prudence when he pursues and fights with Grendel’s mother. Basing on the heroic nature of the poem, one would have expected Beowulf to put the safety of his men before anything else. On the contrary, Beowulf’s intent to defeat the monster supersedes his concern for lives of his men. Clearly, Beowulf focuses more on what is expected of a hero from his people than he does for personal safety or the safety of those who serve under him.

Sep 16, 2014
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