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The Anglo-Saxon Hero as defined by the Battles of BeowulfWithin the tale of Beowulf four character traits can be found which define the Anglo Saxon Hero The first is loyalty as demonstrated by the relationship between Lord and thane According to page 23 of the Beowulf introduction a relationship based less on subordination of one mans will to another than on mutual trust and respect The second and third characteristics are strength and courage The importance of these specific traits to the Anglo-Saxon people is clearly presented during the reciting of Sigemunds tale within Heorot As the song states He was adventurer most famous far and wide through the nations for deed of courage he had prospered from that before the protector of warriors after the war-making of Heremod had come to an end his strength and his courage 38 The final piece which comprises the Anglo-Saxon hero is the notion of fame The only after life a warrior could ever aspire to have was immortality through fame One again this is explained by the introduction to the story Beowulfs chief reward is pagan immortality the memory in the minds of later generations of a heros heroic actions 24-25By understanding what defines a hero it is a simple matter to comprehend why Beowulf is considered by some to be the greatest of all He posses unfaltering loyalty to his king and allies and save for his final battle his thanes show the same devotion to him His strength is unparalleled as he is able to defeat each of his opponents and perform feats of unmatched endurance Beowulfs courage though motivated primarily by his own notion of fate is none the less unwavering And as a hero he achieved his desire for immortality through the poem itselfEach of the four heroic traits can be identified within the three battles in which Beowulf participates His battle with Grendel his undersea struggle with the Grendels Mother and
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