Heroism and Virtue in Beowulf

Examines the themes of heroism and virtue in this medieval epic text.

Beowulf is read here in relation to the Christian values that are discussed in the text and the ways these are incorporated into the character of the epic hero in medieval literature. Themes of heroism are indentified in ways that complement the Christian ideals of virtue. These themes are relied upon for elaborating on Beowulf as a struggle between belief and action, where what a man believes in turn predicts how he will act. For a hero, beliefs are often conflicts of extremes and so Beowulf is an example of how the hero must find balance in his role as a hero and his life as a man.