Principles of Beowulf


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Literature uses many simple plots such as good verses evil and greed verses glory. Beowulf was the first piece of known literature to use these ideas. Beowulf, the first protagonist, chooses to fight evil. As he becomes more renowned he is given a choice between being a long living respected king or a man full of greed bound to be lonely the rest of his life. He is given the advice by Hrothgar a king and a father figure to Beowulf, to become a respected long living king. Beowulf follows Hrothgars advice to become a well respected king and warrior with fame after death.
In Beowulf’s younger years he obtains a great confidence but never elevates to becoming arrogant and self centered. All warriors need to have a confidence to be successful, because if they are not the will be lead to a most unglorified demise. Beowulf has a great respect for his own skills, and before he goes to fight his first significant evil he does not ware armor because he feels it would be unfair advantage. “Grendel is no braver, no stronger/Than I am! I could kill him with my sword but I shall not,” 666-668. After protecting Herrot from the fierce monster Grendel without any armor he has earned the right to have confidence. The people reward him with gracious gifts not because he asked them it was because they love and respect his acts of bravery and courage. The respect of the people is yet another reason for him to be able to have a strong self-confidence. Beowulf never elevates to a level of confidence above what the people allow, therefore he does not elevate to a level of arrogance.

In Beowulf’s later life he also follows Hrothgar’s advice. Beowulf knows that he has an obligation to protect his people and the people the respect of the people gives him the ability to have his treasure and confidence. When the people are harmed he takes it to heart that he failed and he needs to fix it. “Their words brought misery, Beowulf’s /sorrow beat at his heart: he accused/ himself of breaking Gods law”2227-2229. All though Beowulf is in the later part of his life he is still willing to keep his reputation and his right to confidence in line by fighting a dragon for his people. Throughout his life Beowulf earns the respect of his people like Hrothgar told him to.

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He asks for one thing in return he asks for the most honorable of gifts fame after death. This is not too much for him to ask because of what he has done for his people.
Beowulf lived a life of pride, honor, and courage. He followed the advice of Hrothgar and became respected by the people. Beowulf never became arrogant while obtaining a great self confidence from the praise of his people. In his younger years he gained the respect from the people because he followed Hrothgar’s advice. In his later years he kept the respect of the people by dieing for their protection. In his death he received the reward for his actions, fame after death. Because of Hrothgar’s advice Beowulf is an exceptional model of a noble person.


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