In an article by Diana Zaragoza, Beowulf is seen to be a true hero, not just a one-dimensional killing machine. English literature’s first hero, Beowulf has been read by many and turned into a film star a number of times, but so often he is just seen as a supreme warrior, rather than a hero of the people. Zaragoza points out though that Beowulf shows kindness, humility, and respect at numerous times during his journey. He feels an obligation to protect the people, shows respect to Hrothgar, and even protects Unferth from embarrassment.
There is a new Beowulf movie coming out this year with big Hollywood stars, written by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary, so it will be interesting to see what their take is on this age old hero. I’m hoping they manage to tell the story of a man who was a true hero, inspiring many who came after him.