Thesis statement: Does Beowulf in the poem possess heroic qualities that can be termed under the real qualities of an epic hero?
The most important quality of Beowulf that makes him an epic hero is his heroic quality. For instance, like a real hero, Beowulf was ready to travel a great distance to undertake dangerous tasks. When Hrothgar faced trouble from Grendel, like a real hero, Beowulf left his homeland (Geatland), killed the Grendel the monster and saved all. But Burton Raffel criticizes that the author does not give ample importance to Beowulf’s fight with monsters and dragons (Raffel xi).
Beowulf praises Hrothgar on his nobility and brevity. This proves that he possesses the heroic quality of courtesy. When he entered the land of Danes, he left his weapons on the shore. This proves his courtesy towards the king and his people. Besides, Beowulf was ready to do anything to prove his courtesy.
Beowulf was a brave warrior. For instance, he fought and killed Grendel the dragon, and his mother, another dragon. Besides, Beowulf reveals Hroogar that he did defeat five giants and chased them from the earth.
Beowulf possessed the quality of loyalty. He proved his loyalty towards the king and his people by killing Grendel the dragon. Later, when he became the king, Beowulf did not allow his warriors to fight against Grendel’s mother. Instead, he proved his loyalty towards his people by killing Grendel’s mother by his own.
Beowulf’s success as a leader proves his military skills. Besides, he was able to maintain a group of warriors with him to help in critical situations. He very well knew that his warriors may not be helpful in the fight with Grendel and his mother. So he went alone to face those demons/beasts /dragons. This proves his military tactics.
Summing up, one can see that the heroic qualities possessed by Beowulf helps him to be a real epic hero with heroism, courtesy, bravery, loyalty, leadership