What is your first impression of Beowulf?

Expert Answers
Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Obviously my first impression may not be the same as yours, so I would encourage you to consider and submit your own opinion if this is an assignment. 

Beowulf is an epic Anglo-Saxon poem named after an epic Anglo-Saxon hero. My first impression of Beowulf is that he is a man of great importance and significance. He is known by all his countrymen and none of them want to let him leave; however, they know he can be of service to someone else so they let him go. He is rich enough to equip a ship and fourteen men for battle, he is intelligent enough to serve as the navigator for that ship, and he is selfless enough to risk his life for someone he has never met (though we do discover Hrothgar had a connection to Beowulf's father).

I imagine that if I had seen Beowulf landing as the Danish guard saw him, I would have thought as he did:

Nor have I seen
a mightier man-at-arms on this earth
than the one standing here: unless I am mistaken,
he is truly noble. This is no mere 
hanger-on in a hero's armour.

Beowulf is not a fake hero, that much I know from the beginning, and I believe him when he says he is going to kill Grendel.