Analyze Beowulf's character in Beowulf,  and compare him to other epic heroes, such a Achilles. 

Expert Answers
readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a great question that is complex.  Let me first deal with Beowulf as a hero. It is clear from the poem that Beowulf is an ideal hero from a Germanic point of view. He is brave, loyal and proud. This is seen most clearly in his confrontation with Grendel and Grendel’s mother. Even in the face of great danger, Beowulf does not show fear and pursues personal glory.

However, when we look at the end of the epic, (Beowulf is much older) there is further character development. Beowulf is also a great king. In other words, he takes responsibility of a realm. He, therefore, is not only thinking about personal glory; he takes care of others.

This last point sets him apart from many of the heroes of the Greek world. For example, Achilles and Odysseus are portrayed as heroes who almost exclusively seek personal glory. This is clearest in the case of Achilles whose feeling of being slighted by Agamemnon leads him to withdraw from the battle to the near destruction of his fellow Greeks. 

When we move over to the Roman world and examine Vergil’s hero, Aeneas, then there are more commonalities with Beowulf. Vergil is at pains to show that Aeneas is one filled with duty toward the gods and his people. 

arjun | Student

Beowulf is a man of great heroism. He never avoids from adventures as his fight with a dragon and he pulls out its heart. His facing with the witch and leading methods in war make him a great adventurer.His character can be compared to Sohrab and Rustum.He is a classical hero ,busy to correct the society and make it peaceful.This hero likes heroism but not restrictions. From his behaviou,future plan etc,we can place him a better place than Sohrab and Rustum.However,all heroes fight for name and fame,but he is a hero who fights fo renown but is adhered to genuine adventures.