Beowulf is the main protagonist in the storyline. He is a Geatish Hero who stands out for his achievement in fighting the monster Grendel. He also fights Grendel’s mother, who is a dragon that breathes fire. The encounters of Beowulf show that he is the ablest warrior available, given the great strength and zeal for success that he has. Right from his young age, he appears to have the characteristics of a hero. He plays the role of a warrior that makes him of relevance to the society. At old age, although worn out, he takes up the role of a ruler, given the great extent of wisdom that he has. He, therefore, manages to rule over other people effectively.
The poem, therefore, shows that Beowulf is a perfect hero. At the young age, he was able to go through three conflicts, which he managed to win over successfully. The next phase of his heroism comes in fifty years later when he becomes king. The representation of Beowulf in his young age and old age create two different models that mark the virtues of a hero. For instance, at a young age, he was highly courageous, energetic and ready to take up some of the roles that others could shy off from engaging in. He also dared to engage in swimming against Breca. Beowulf also appears to bear great levels of pride, courtesy, and loyalty. He, therefore, bears the virtues dictated by the Germanic heroic code. The defeat that he has over Grendel and the mother of the monster play a role in cementing his role as a true hero.
Right at the start of the poem, the story shows that Beowulf is keen on maturing and taking over the role of leadership. Although he is highly successful as a young hero, he does not allow the situation to cloud his ability to reach much higher levels than the ones that are present for him. He, therefore, gets in contact with Hrothgar. Hrothgar is crucial to the life of Beowulf as he plays the role of a father figure. He, therefore, takes the time to advise Beowulf on some of the virtues that are desirable in leadership. He, therefore, shows him some of the concepts that denote a wise ruler. Although Beowulf takes many years to assume the role of a ruler, the experience that he has with Hrothgar is critical in shaping his life and ensuring that he can become a most effective one when the time comes.
The second part of the story is depicted in a setting in Greatland. It denotes the middle of Beowulf’s career. It also shows the very end of the life of the hero. The poem, however, uses a lot of reflection in a bid to show much of what happened in the gap in between his young age and middle age. The reader is, therefore, able to identify some of the measures that Beowulf took to build himself up as both a warrior and a king.
The period that followed after the death of Hygelac marked as an important part of the life of Beowulf. It is a point that marked his transition from a warrior to a king. He fails to follow the actions of Hrothulf. Hrothulf had rushed to seek for kingship himself in Denmark. Beowulf, rather, seeks to support Hygelac son, the rightful heir, to become king. His actions are, therefore, a true mark of loyalty and show that he is not a person guided by greed and the zeal for power at any cost. He also shows that he has great respect for the throne. Thus, people see him a highly worthy to take over the role of ruling over them.
The final part of the poem shows the encounter that Beowulf has with the dragon. In the phase of the poem, the poet is keen to show the differences in the expectations of a king a warrior. Most often, a warrior acts towards his self-gratification to earn fame from people within his community. The king, however, has to act with great restraint and the need to show great value to the people around him to ensure that they are well protected. He, therefore, needs to go a notch higher and act towards the good of his people. It is a form of sacrifice that Beowulf seems to be willing to take up. However, through reflection, the moral status of Beowulf are marked with ambiguity in the end. Although he is highly celebrated throughout the poem as a great warrior and king, his zeal to fight at the end of the poem appears to be quite rushed. The poem aims to show that by Beowulf has sacrificed himself. His death leaves his people without a ruler. They are, therefore, left vulnerable and susceptible to being attacked by other tribes.
However, putting the personal blame on Beowulf for putting his life in danger negates the role that fate plays at the end of the poem. By engaging the dragon, he was taking part in an action in which he had little or no choice at all. It was also a mark of his warrior culture, a concept that he could not run away from, given the immense role that it played in shaping the kind of person whom he is. He had grown up as a warrior, and that is the one thing that he was fully conversant with. He, therefore, had to stand up for it and be counted as one of the people who came to the aid of others when they needed it the most.