A hero is one who places himself or herself at risk for another by performing great deeds of courage. Often in our society today, athletes are looked up to as heros. Brett Favre is an excellent example of a modern day hero. He is looked up to by many for his strength, leadership, and success. While on the football field, he is willing to risk his "life" by running the ball in when there is no one else to go to. Favre also gives all of the glory to God. Whenever he has conquered another team, or made the winning play, all praise is given to God. In the poem Beowulf, translated by Constance B. Hieatt, Beowulf is an epic hero. An epic is a "lengthy narrative poem which genealogizes and embellishes the origin of a tribe or nation". (Edward A. Bloom) Not only is Beowulf a hero because of his physical strength, but like Favre, gives the glory to God. Beowulf is the ultimate hero who put his life on the line for an entire kingdom.
Beowulf\'s heroism can be seen when he takes 14 of the bravest in his land to go help Hrothgar. Hrothgar was Beowulf\'s father\'s close friend who had been plagued by attacks for twelve years that threatened an entire kingdom. Beowulf did not have to offer Hrothgar\'s kingdom help, but does so because he wants to uses his God given strength to the best of his ability. As soon as Beowulf heard of the troubles in this land he set sail immediately. Beowulf continues to show his thankfulness by thanking God for giving them safe travel across the sea. Beowulf is lead to Hrothgar and offers him is "services."
"-Now sit down to the feast, and, in due time, listen to lays of warriors\' victories,

NELSON 2
as your heart may prompt you. (15)
Beowulf is asked by the warriors to tell of his past defeats while eating in Hrothgar\'s palace. Beowulf is already a hero to the people of this land for he is about to rid them of their enemy. The warriors are anxious to here what he has done and what he plans to do to Grendel. Here Beowulf "puts on his running shoes" and runs through his battle plan mentally just as any great athlete would do before a big meet. As the Banquet continues, Hrothgar thanks Beowulf, and promises him great treasure if he succeeds in defeating Grendel.
As an ultimate hero, Beowulf decides, to be far, he will not use weapons in his battle against Grendel since Grendel reputedly does not use them.
"I do not consider myself a lesser fighter than Grendel does himself; therefore I will not kill him with a sword, and deprive him of life in that way....No: this night we two will abstain from swords..." (19-20)
That night, even after hearing of all of Beowulf\'s heroic defeats, the warriors still feel that no man on earth will be able to stand up to the evil Grendel carries. Beowulf will either defeat Grendel or die in the process. "Let me live in greatness...and courage," he says, "or here in this hall welcome...my death." Beowulf awaits the arrival of Grendel then goes on to defeat him and sends him back to the "fen" to die.
Hrothgar\'s speech to Beowulf is more than an expression of thanks. For he states:
"Let me take you to my heart" and "make you my son too..." When a heroic deed is done such as Beowulf has done, it is common practice for them to accept you into their family. Once again, the influence of Christianity shows in Hrothgar\'s speech to Beowulf. It was the "Almighty" who sent Beowulf and it was "with the Lord\'s help" that Beowulf was able to defeat Grendel. Hrothgar

NELSON 3
wants to make it known throughout the world that Beowulf is the strongest man alive and is a
proven hero. It is the characteristics of agelessness and dedication that sets him apart from the other warriors, and makes him a truly heroic individual.
Beowulf may have defeated Grendel, but his fighting days are not yet over. For Grendel\'s Mother is about to seek revenge.
Another one of Beowulf\'s heroic deeds of kindness is seen when he goes after Grendel\'s mother even though that was not a part of the