The English Epic Hero
In folktales, legends, mythology, and even the Bible, people are told stories of men with unimaginable strength. They perform heroic feats and give service to the people they love. In the Old English epic of Beowulf, by an unknown author, people are enlightened of another such hero. Beowulf, the main character of the epic, is very much an epic hero. Epic heroes are defined according to many parameters, but the two that most apply to Beowulf are supernatural powers and weapons and obstacles or heroic actions.
Throughout the story, there is evidence of Beowulf?s astounding strength and ?war-gear?. When Beowulf arrives at Heorot, the narrator describes him by saying, ?Of living men he was the strongest, / Fearless and gallant and great of heart? (132-133). This passage articulates that Beowulf is stronger than any other man, and that his strength is supernatural. Later it also states that he has the ?hand-grip? of thirty men. His strength is like many other famous legends like Hercules and Samson. They were heroes and Beowulf is no different from them. Beowulf receives many special weapons to aid him. During the battle with Grendel?s mother, Beowulf discovers a sword among the extra gear. The narrator
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