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Epic of Beowulf

Powerful Essays
Beowulf

Word has traveled across the seas to Geatland of a great disturbance in Heorot. A threatening creature has befallen on Hrothgar, King of the Danes, and his people. In no time, a Geat by the name of Beowulf arrives at Heorot. However, why would one man, an unpopular man at that, not known of possessing any strength or talent, travel a great distance to offer his services to the Danes? Textual evidence provides that Beowulf, although he proves himself brave and strong, expresses his ego through boasting of his epic deeds, illuminating on his strength and wit. In addition to feeding his ego, it can be proved that Beowulf is out to make a legend of himself since he comes from a broken lineage, and in the time of the Danes and Geats, lineage was vital. Simply, Beowulf comes to Heorot for the purpose of personal gains and not to help Hrothgar and his people.

When Beowulf first arrives at Heorot, and meets Hrothgar, he wastes no time persuading the Danes of his talent and begins his boast. For example, on page 41, in The Norton Anthology of English Literature Volume 1A, Beowulf states, “So every elder and experienced councilman among my people supported my resolve to come here to you, King Hrothgar, because all know of my awesome strength. They had seen me bolstered in the blood of enemies when I battled and bound five beasts, raided a troll-nest and in the night-sea slaughtered sea-brutes,” (lines 415-422). This claim he makes is contradictory due to the claim that his people, the Geats make, “He had been poorly regarded for a long time…and their lord too had never much esteemed him in the mead-hall. They firmly believed that he lacked force, that the prince was a weakling,” (p.79, lines 2183-2189). It ...

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...ath leaves my body for murder of kinsmen.

In conclusion, Beowulf left the world as a legend, and “Beowulf the king had indeed met with a marvelous death,” (p.96, lines 3036-3037). Beowulf did not have to die that day. He chose to fight the Dragon on his own, thus assuring his death. Heroes always die a glorious death. Beowulf felt that in order for him to be remembered for the rest of time he needed to not only defeat Grendel and Grendel’s mother alone, but also defeat a Dragon flying into a certain death, solo. Beowulf was out to prove himself a strong, witty, brave warrior and he did indeed succeed. Additionally, he succeeded in feeding to his insecurities by boasting about his epic deeds. Beowulf will be known in the land of the Danes and the Geats as an epic hero for all time, even though Beowulf came to their rescue and aid for purely selfish reasons.
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