In Beowulf, why is it that Beowulf is considered a round character?I'm writing an essay where I have to support that claim, but can't seem to see how he is a round character. Instead, I just see...

In Beowulf, why is it that Beowulf is considered a round character?

I'm writing an essay where I have to support that claim, but can't seem to see how he is a round character. Instead, I just see him as a static hero type. Is there any convincing evidence on the subject?

Asked on by cbet47

1 Answer | Add Yours

mstultz72's profile pic

mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Beowulf is round, dynamic character because he is the poet's epic hero who changes greatly throughout the narrative.  He is full of paradoxes: he is both pagan and Christian, blood-thirsty and generous, immortal and vulnerable.

Beowulf begins as a young, proud hero who defeats Grendel with his bare hands.  Then, he swims to Grendel's mother's lair and kills her.  But, with each battle, and as Beowulf ages and his opponents become deadlier, Beowulf must rely on weapons and armor to kill them.  He must use a magic sword to slay Grendel's mother and heavy armor to slay the dragon.

By the end, Beowulf becomes a victim of the cycle of revenge that made him great.  Beowulf, once the idealized, indefatigable epic warrior, becomes greedy for treasure and dies trying to protect his status.

We’ve answered 318,929 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question