Heroes and monsters, both good and evil fighting each other, is a theme that even today we are all too familiar with in movies, books, and television. However, Beowulf depicts the accomplishments of a Geatish hero who rids Hrothgar's kingdom of two monsters, Grendel and Grendel's mother. This is a characteristic of a violent society where war and kingship are normal daily parts of life. What kind of person could handle the constant threat of dragons and monsters? Only someone with supernatural powers and heroic qualities such as Beowulf! In this story, Beowulf is a warrior exhibiting the qualities of an epic hero with courage, supernatural powers, and fame.
Beowulf demonstrates his courage a number of times throughout the poem. Beowulf travels to Denmark in order to challenge Grendel, the undefeatable and horrific monster that many knights have tried to destroy, but no one has succeeded. "Grendel is no braver, no stronger/ Than I am! I could kill him with my sword; I shall not,/ Easy as it would be. This fiend is a bold/ And famous fighter, but his claws and teeth/ Scratching at my shield, his clumsy fists/ Beating at my sword blade, would be helpless. I will meet him/ With my hands empty- (44). He fights Grendel empty handed and still defeats the monster. In addition, Beowulf displays courage in choosing to face Grendel's mother in her lair. Her quarters are underwater and Beowulf knows that if he opts to fight her he might never come back alive. But this didn"t stop the brave Beowulf; he has the courage to fight Grendel's mother to her death. Lastly, Beowulf has courage to fight a dragon, which is killing the knights in his own kingdom. When Beowulf realizes that no one can defeat this dragon, he takes it upon himself execute this hideous monster. Even though Beowulf dies fighting the dragon, he still manages to defeat the beast. Beowulf is an epic hero with the trait of courage.
Another special trait that Beowulf has is supernatural powers.