Beowulf is an outstanding epic poem set in the Anglo-Saxon period that tells the tale of a hero of the land. Beowulf devoted his life to protecting his kin and land which makes him the embodiment of an Anglo-Saxon hero. Being an outstanding warrior has made Beowulf a well respected king showing many strong attributes as leader. Beowulf is also a courageous warrior capable of overcoming many obstacles. Being a great warrior and a devoted king makes Beowulf the ideal hero for the Anglo-Saxon period.
Beowulf, the son of Ecgtheow, was the mightiest thane in the land of the Geats. In the Anglo-Saxon period it was believed that if a person was courageous then fate would be on his side. Beowulf had fate on his side to make him the most courageous hero of his time. Beowulf accepts and overcomes many challenges that a normal warrior would not be able to overcome. Beowulf came to the aid of his kin, Hrothgar, when the evil monster named Grendel was attacking his mead hall. He was summoned to the aid of Hrothgar to stop evil Grendel because Hrothgar thought that if the, "mightiest man of valour"(3) could not stop Grendel then nobody could. Beowulf talks of the courage he had when he was a young man after Unferth attacked him with accusations of killing his friend Breca. Beowulf states that, "we were merely boys,/striplings still," (8-9) they had no idea what it would be like and, "Together we twain in the tides abode/five nights full till the flood divided us,"(16-17). He tells the tale of how he and Breca fought many mighty creatures while together but after they were separated Breca died. This shows Beowulf's strengths even as a young man and his willingness not only to take a challenge, but to also be victorious. Beowulf fought Grendel's mother in her underwater lair after she avenged the death of her son by killing a thane. Beowulf was not as strong of a warrior when he decided that he would fight the dragon for the safety of his land but still willing to sacrifice his life.