Motivations For Beowulf’s Heroicness Essay

901 words - 4 pages

When most people do something heroic it’s usually for a certain reason. Everyone has motivations by just about every single thing they do. Some people choose to do heroic things like become a firefighter for example these men and women choose to do this is by volunteering they could get killed it’s very dangerous and they still choose to be in the line of fire literally for some reason or another. When they choose to do something heroic like this they usually have some sort of one or even various different reasons for it. Beowulf is an epic hero himself he goes to the land of the Danes and basically kills a monster named Grendel for them without any reason behind why he actually went. Some people may say well Beowulf is just a hero and that’s what he’s supposed to do without and real reasoning behind it. Although if you read the epic for each monster Beowulf fights there is a motivation behind it. For each different monster there is a different motivation behind Beowulf fighting first is Grendel, next is Grendel’s mother and finally the dragon.

To begin, Beowulf has a complex motivation for fighting the monster Grendel. His first motivation is duty which is part of the Anglo-Saxon code he’s obligated to go and kill Grendel. His people told him so go and do it so he does duty comes first and personal choice comes second. On page 47 lines 244-246 Beowulf says, “My people have said, the wisest, most knowing And best of them, that my duty was to go to the Danes’ Great king.” Here Beowulf says it himself the people from the land of the Geats have told him it was his to go and kill Grendel and end them of his awful wrath. The second part of his motivation is his own personal pride and glory. On page 48 lines 47-55 Beowulf says, They have seen my strength of themselves, Have watches me rise from the darkness of war, Dripping with my enemies’ blood. I drove Five great giants into chains, chased All of that race from the earth. I swam In the blackness of night, hunting monsters Out of the ocean, and killing them one By one; death was my errand and the fate They had earned. Now Grendel and I are called together and I’ve come.” Beowulf believes it’s fate that has brought Beowulf and Grendel together to battle. He also brags a lot about himself and knows that if he does defeat Grendel he will have more personal glory and be praised by not only his country, but also by the Danes.


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