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Beowulf - The Archetypal Hero

            A modern-day hero can be described as someone who isn't looking for the camera or applause. In today's society physical feats are not required to obtain the status of being a hero anymore. However, in Anglo-Saxon culture a hero is considered as someone with, divine ancestry, endowed with courage and strength, has the ability to show nobility when leading, and a person noted for a special achievement in a particular field. In the poem Beowulf, there is one character who possesses all and a greater amount of these expressed characteristics, the hero Beowulf. All through the poem Beowulf embodies the perfect's characteristics and archetypal hero, such as loyalty to his men and his kingdom, and Beowulf's bravery and strength throughout the epic. Some scholar argue that Beowulf is not a true hero, because of his self-obsessiveness, however in the time period of Beowulf, boasting and gloating not only instilled trust and faith among his acquaintances, but also added to his reputation and identity as being one of the greatest warriors in Europe. .
             An important quality that every hero in the Anglo-Saxon culture must possess is loyalty. Beowulf's loyalty to the Danes is shown through Beowulf's answer to Hrothgar's pleas of help. Beowulf "Heard how Grendel filled nights with horror and quickly commanded a boat fitted out, proclaiming that he'd go to that famous king would sail across the sea to Hrothgar" (Beowulf 112-115) It was Beowulf's loyalty to the Danes that conveyed him to Hrothgar to overcome Grendel. Grendel, an animal of revolting aura had been plundering and slaughtering Hrothgar's kin, and therefore the very solidarity of the Danes was debilitated. Beowulf provides to the with some much needed help of the Danes for another complicated reason. Obviously, Beowulf's prime motive is expanding his notoriety and picking up honor and installment for his own particular ruler back in Geatland.

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