Every country has an ideal hero who is revered and respected. In Great Britain, this individual happens to be a character from an epic poem called Beowulf. He was a warrior, and later a king, who engaged in numerous battles against monster opponents. In the English tradition, a perfect hero displays courage, generosity, and loyalty. Similarly, throughout the course of the epic poem, Beowulf presents himself as the ideal English hero, as someone who "has bridged the gap between foolhardiness and true courage" and "has become an embodiment of the ideal union of wisdom and action" (Renoir 1). He does not make cursory decisions, and has carefully planned out strategies, to carry out his attacks against his foes. Ultimately, Beowulf's main strength is his physical stature, but his discerning actions complement him as he ends up victorious in his battles against Grendel, Grendel Dam, and the dragon. .
A large portion of the poem is centered on a monster named Grendel, who terrorizes the great Danish mead hall of Herot. After Grendel had feasted on the Danes for twelve long years, the warriors give up and even the king's council "made heathen vows, hoping for Hell's Support" and "the Devil's guidance in driving Their affliction off" (l 91-93, 27). When Beowulf hears about the disturbance, he shows that he is intrepid by asking for permission to fight for the Danes. He does not make a perfunctory choice; instead, he patiently waits and "[listens] to the voice of wisdom" (Renoir 1). The sagacious elders tell Beowulf that "the omens [are] good, And they [urge] the adventure on" (l 118-119, 27). Furthermore, he exhibits his wisdom by his technique of defeating Grendel. When Grendel comes to eat the men of the mead hall, Beowulf pretends to be asleep because he knows that Grendel only attacks during the nighttime. As they engage in battle, Beowulf displays his physical strength. Even Grendel, a ferocious monster, realizes that "nowhere on earth Had he met a man whose hands were harder" (l 326-327, 33).