Jeez

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sparky4596
Words 375
Pages 2
Characteristics of the Epic Hero
The form of the poem suggests that the material dealt with should be "events which have a certain grandeur and importance, and come from a life of action, especially of violent action such as war" (see C. M. Bowra, From Virgil to Milton, p. 1).
1. The hero is not only a warrior and a leader, but also a polished speaker who can address councils of chieftains or elders with eloquence and confidence.
(Beowulf, 258-259)
2. The hero possesses distinctive weapons of great size and power, often heirlooms or presents from the gods.
(Grendel, 102-125)
3. The hero must undertake a long, perilous journey, often involving a descent into the Underworld (Greek, "Neukeia"), which tests his endurance, courage, and cunning.
(Beowulf, 539-541)

4. Although his fellows may be great warriors (like Achilles and Beowulf, he may have a comitatus, or group of noble followers with whom he grew up), he undertakes a task that no one else dare attempt.
(Beowulf’s fellows 206-209)
5. Whatever virtues his race most prizes, these the epic hero as a cultural exemplar possesses in abundance.
(Beowulf, 415-418)
6. The concept of arete (Greek for "bringing virtue to perfection") is crucial to understanding the epic protagonist.
(Beowulf 340-347)
7. The hero establishes his nobility through single combat. A hero gains little honour by slaying a lesser mortal, but only by challenging heroes like himself or adversaries of superhuman power.
(Beowulf removing his armor for it to be a fair fight 671-676)
8. The two great epic adversaries, the hero and his antagonist, meet at the climax, which must be delayed as long as possible to sustain maximum interest.
(Beowulf vs, Grendel 749-756)
9. The hero's epic adversary is often a "god-despiser," one who has more respect for his own mental and physical abilities than for the power of the gods. The…...

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