Epic Heroes Essay

  • Length: 4 pages
  • Sources: 1+
  • Subject: Literature
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #62589536

Excerpt from Essay :

Epic heroes are drawn from ancient mythology and similar long narratives and epic poems. The term is variously used to refer to any celebrated figure in ancient legends. The heroes belong to a princely stature that is usually born to royalty, gods and special circumstances. These heroes are usually set apart from the ordinary people that lived then. They accomplish extra ordinary things and exceed the abilities of normal humans. They exhibit extra ordinary courage. The hero is the protagonist in these accounts (Encyclopedia Britannica). Epic Heroes share some common traits in the various stories. The stories contain similar elements. Some of the most common characteristics include being called to adventure (the hero either accepts or rejects), a complex and unpredictable journey to an unknown place, supernatural assistance, temptations and challenges, bravery, a resolution from a hero's past, a blessing or major achievement, belief in supernatural power, courage extra-ordinary physical strength, and return to the place of origin by the hero. This discussion majors on three epic heroes, i.e., Hector, Beowulf and Achilleus. It also seeks to examine how they were made heroes by their character.


Beowulf is an age old story of the English people. It comes from an anonymous poet of Anglo-Saxon origin. It is about a brave, strong warrior named Beowulf. He fights and defeats monster creatures and becomes a king. His first and great battle was with a monster known to terrorize the Scyldings named Grendel. Beowulf had come to hear about a murderous spree by Grendel in the land of the Danes led by king Hrothgar and chose to assist them. Beowulf confronts and fights Grendel in a hall at Herot. He rips the monster apart. He first tears off the hand of the monster. The monster is wounded severely and dies of the injury. Achelleus and hector are highly cherished Troy and Greek warriors in Iliad, an epic poem by Homer. It is the story about the Trojan War and trails Achilles who is apparently indomitable warrior. Achelleus and Hector fight on antagonistic sides of the war. While Achilleus fought his heart out to destroy and kill the Trojans, hector fought to maintain peace between the countries at war. Achilleus is overly angered because Hector is the one that has killed his closest friend, Patroklus. This incident leads to the fight between the two (E-Notes).


Beowulf has proved his heroic nature. He had the courage to go all the way to the land of the Danes and confront Grendel. He takes on the revered monster without twitching an eye of regarding the possibility of being smothered by the heinous creature that has visited mayhem among the Danes already. The last paragraph on page 3 states that the brave man lay down with his bolster beneath his head and the entire company of sea weavers resting on his side. Beowulf also beat the three monster creatures, i.e. Grendel, his mother and a dragon. Beowulf shows great bravery, cunningness and great physical strength in his resolve to help the Danes. He thus appears superman and superior to an ordinary person. The fight between Grendel and Beowulf is described on page 5, in the last paragraph. The poem states that Grendel inched closer venturing his talon and raising it to attack Beowulf as he lay in his bed. It further describes how the hero pinned and forestalled him. Interestingly, Beowulf showed loyalty and generous demeanor to his subjects; the kingdom of Geatland and the Thanes. The last paragraph of page 8 details that the Great captain had completed his mission…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Encyclopedia Britannica. Hero: Literary and Cultural Figure. 2016. https://www.britannica.com/art/hero-literary-and-cultural-figure. Accessed 28 September 2016

E-Notes. Epic Poems. 2016. http://www.enotes.com/search?q=epic+poems. Accessed 28 September 2016

Sanderson. Epic Hero. 2016. http://sandersonhs.org/jbennett/resources/Epic_Hero.pdf. Accessed 28 September 2016

Cite This Essay:

"Epic Heroes" (2016, September 30) Retrieved April 3, 2020, from

"Epic Heroes" 30 September 2016. Web.3 April. 2020. <

"Epic Heroes", 30 September 2016, Accessed.3 April. 2020,