“Beowulf” Assessment . Essay due – Wednesday, 9/18 Prefer it to be typed (12 pt. font, TNR); can be written in ink (blue or black) neatly on front side of paper only Late papers will be deducted 10 points per day . Grading Rubric .
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To some people a hero is a sports figure, or the guy on the evening news who stopped a robbery in progress, or the grandmother who raised five children and three grandchildren on the wages of a school janitor. Cultures around the world have admired certain people as heroes—those who are faster, stronger, wiser, in some way better than the common man. The Anglo Saxon culture of the 9th century praised one such epic hero, the title character in the epic poem “Beowulf.” Beowulf shows himself to be an epic hero because he is larger than life, he must accomplish extraordinarily difficult tasks on his own, he exemplified the values of the Anglo Saxon society, and he assumes a role of true leadership for his people.
Beowulf was the epitome of an Anglo Saxon warrior. He exemplified Anglo Saxon values, such as the value of bravery. For example, as soon as he heard that the horrible monster Grendel was terrorizing the Danes, Beowulf hurried to their king and begged Hrothgar “[t]hat I, alone and with the help of my men, may purge all evil from this hall.” Not only was Beowulf willing to engage their enemy in battle, he would fight the evil without weapons. “I have heard, too, that the monster’s scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. Nor will I.” No one had been successful against Grendel with their weapons, and Beowulf realized somebody would have to tackle the monster bare-handed. Beowulf alone was brave enough to stand up against Grendel and fight the monster on its own terms.