In reading the epic poem of Beowulf, the main character, Beowulf, has the characteristics of an epic hero by showing skill and courage, enduring fame, and royal responsibility. In the epic poem of Beowulf, Beowulf shows extraordinary and almost superficial skill and courage at the Slaying of Grendel, the Troll-Wife, and the Dragon. Due to the courageous slaying of the unwanted creatures Beowulf also becomes accustomed to the idea of enduring fame. Beowulf also must accept the concept of protecting his people as a royal responsibility. The epic poem begins with the slaying of Grendel. In the slaying of the abnormally large creature Beowulf shows portentous skills and courage. Beowulf's shows extraordinary skill and courage; which is an example of an epic hero. In the poem of Beowulf, Beowulf shows courage and skill by slaying Grendel without the use of a shield or sword. The reason why Beowulf decides to kill Grendel without the use of any armor is because Beowulf feels that he should have no advantages over Grendel. By conquering Grendel without any armor Beowulf proves to the people that he truly is courageous and skillful. The following paragraph shows the reader just how courageous he really is: "I count myself weaker in war or grapple of battle than Grendel himself. Therefore I scorn to slay him with sword, Deal deadly wound, as I well might do-nothing he knows of a noble fighting, Of thrusting and hewing and hacking of shield."
Beowulf also shows skill and courage when he defeats the Troll Wife. (The mother of Grendel) After the killing of many Thanes in the Mead Hall Beowulf is able to kill the Troll Wife with the use of the Hrunting. He defeats the Troll Wife with a thrust at the throat, which broke through the bone rings of The Troll Wife. Once again Grendel
exemplifies the characteristics of an epic hero. Beowulf also shows skill and courage in the killing of the Dragon. In the slaying of the Dragon, Beowulf was willi