See Article History Beowulf, heroic poem, the highest achievement of Old English literature and the earliest European vernacular epic. It deals with events of the early 6th century and is believed to have been composed between and
Beowulf Analysis Beowulf Is Widely Considered an Epic Hero The characters of every story typically exhibit generalized traits that are collectively called archetypes. One such archetype is the epic hero, who is often characterized by a connection to the gods and typically more physically and mental gifted than other characters in the story.
The epic hero archetypes also find themselves on a quest or a voyage fraught with adversity and must overcome it in a way that highlights the moral ideal or value of their society.
For years, Beowulf has been described as a prime example of the epic hero archetype. After all the events that highlight the characteristics indicative of a epic hero transpire, Beowulf, now in his old age, unwisely fights a disgruntled dragon by himself and pays with his life.
Nothing in the archetype of an epic hero justifies this reckless lack of judgement. Unlike an epic hero, the tragic hero possesses a tragic flaw.
Aging and aware of it, and acting recklessly and similarly aware of it, Beowulf needlessly battles the dragon alone and is fatally wounded. Had he not been blinded by hubris, he would not have died. I will make my defense of this assertion with a full description of hubris in the context of Virtue.
Hubris Does Not Show Moderation Moderation Is a Virtue Few thinkers could illustrate the importance of moderation better than the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, who said, "it is better to rise from life as from a banquet-neither thirsty nor drunk".
This quote perfectly describes the golden mean. The golden mean is a set of characteristic traits, known as virtues, which lie between two extremes. The extremes represent either a lack or an excess of the trait said to be virtuous.
For example, soldiers defending their country from invaders is a brave act that protects the soldiers' city from conquerors. Bravery is, thus, virtuous. Soldiers who retreat at the first sight of danger show a lack of bravery and exhibit cowardice and soldiers who charge an entire army alone to prove their unrelenting bravery are reckless.
These extreme acts would endanger the city by leaving it with fewer able-bodied individuals to defend it, and they are known as vices. Conversely, a truly virtuous person would be able to moderate themselves and act in a way that is in between these two extremes and exhibit courage.
To Aristotle courage was a virtue because a person who acts in such a way in neither reckless nor cowardly. Hubris Does Not Show Moderation In Aristotle's theory, hubris would be an excess similar to recklessness and would not show the moderation that is the hallmark of a virtuous person.
The standard definition of hubris as "excessive pride" itself hints at the extremeness of such a characteristic in the mind of Aristotle. The story's titular protagonist does exhibit virtues common to epic heroes: As Aristotle has shown, an excess is indicative of a vice.
The Heroic Qualities of Beowulf Hubris can sometimes help a person do amazing things. To swim for five days and five nights in icy waters while carrying a sword and battling sea monsters is no small feat.
Beowulf knew that he was braver than the other men, and his confidence allowed him to defeat the monsters when no one else could even face them.
Beowulf ripping off Grendel's arm. Hubris had its advantages Source Beowulf's Hubris Is a Flaw For all the great advantages that come with hubris, it serves to show an illuminating contrast between him and Hrothgar.The poem suggests that, by sacrificing himself, Beowulf unnecessarily leaves his people without a king, exposing them to danger from other tribes.
To understand Beowulf’s death strictly as a personal failure, however, is to neglect the overwhelming emphasis given to fate in this last portion of the poem.
Beowulf is the story, in epic poem form, of a great Geat warrior who came to the aid of the Danish King Hrothgar in defeating a monster that was terrorizing his people.
The monster, Grendel, was a. Beowulf: The heroic poem Beowulf is the highest achievement of Old English literature and the earliest European vernacular epic.
Beowulf Analysis: Hubris Makes Beowulf a Tragic Hero. Updated on October 18, Ryan Buda. One such archetype is the epic hero, who is often characterized by a connection to the gods and typically more physically and mental gifted than other characters in the story.
Beowulf saved a neighboring king, named Hrothgar, and his men from. Beowulf, heroic poem, the highest achievement of Old English literature and the earliest European vernacular epic. It deals with events of the early 6th century and is believed to have been composed between and The epic tells the story of a hero, a Scandinavian prince named Beowulf, who rids the Danes of the monster Grendel, a descendent of Cain, and of his exploits fighting Grendel's mother and a Dragon.
Throughout the epic, the Anglo-Saxon story teller uses many elements to build a .