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“Across the centuries from the England of Bede Beowulf proclaims the ideal of gentleness united to strength, and valor enobled by virtue. It spreads to the modern world in moving accents of honor, of courage, of faith.”

- Charles W. Kennedy
A translator of Beowulf

Like many great epics and novels of the ages, Beowulf is based on the triumph of good over evil. Its hero is the epitome of good; Beowulf is strong, brave, and full of virtue. He is the classic warrior; honorable, valiant, and loyal.
Beowulf may represent the ideals of the Anglo-Saxon era, but those same ideals of honor, courage, and faith are prevalent in almost every period of history. In those respects, Beowulf is similar to King Arthur’s “Knights of the Round Table” and Odysseus, from Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. Beowulf puts honor and loyalty above all else.
Although he has already performed many great deeds and services before the time the story is set, Beowulf’s virtues are first shown when he travels to Denmark, with the purpose of saving Heorot, the great mead-hall, from the demon Grendel. He sets out to repay Hrothgar for helping his father, showing Beowulf’s loyalty and faith.
Before Beowulf came, Grendel feasted on those in the mead-hall at night. The demon never used weapons; he slaughtered and ate those who tried to fight him. Beowulf honorably decides that since Grendel uses no weapons, he also shall fight weaponless. “When it comes to fighting, I count myself as dangerous any day as Grendel. So it won’t be a cutting edge I’ll wield to mow him down, easily as I might. He has no idea of the arts of war, or shield or sword-play, although he does possess a wild strength. No weapons, therefore, for either this night: unarmed he shall face me if face me he dares.” (677-685) Beowulf shows tremendous bravery and honor in fighting without a sword or shield.
Beowulf’s loyalty is most evident after he has defeated Grendel. After Beow...

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