This meant that men had to be strong fighters capable of protecting and avenging their people. In the epic, Beowulf certainly has a reputation for strength. In his initial boast to Hrothgar, he proclaims that “all knew of [his] awesome strength” after seeing him “boltered in the blood of enemies” (418). However, the reader is not expected to take his word for it. Being the quintessential warrior, Beowulf demonstrates superior and perhaps superhuman strength throughout his battles.
The younger boys looked up to either their father that was a warrior or another warrior. They idolized these men because they received fame. The idea of jewels, clashing of metal hitting your foe painted great images in Angelo- Saxon boys. In their culture fame is the most important thing you can have. By reading Beowulf I realized that loyalty is sometimes more important to them than their religion.
The first few lines of Beowulf immediately use the act of courage as the definitive form of greatness. The Danes will be celebrated because of their bravery and heroism before anything else. When Grendel attacks the Danes, their land is described as desolate, after being pillaged; “So Grendel ruled in defiance of right, one against all, until the greatest house in the wo... ... middle of paper ... ...Beowulf will forever be remembered. Beowulf, who initially is a prideful, young hero, matures into a respected king who shows respect and loyalty to his people. Before Beowulf reigns as king, there are important characteristics that he exemplifies that lead one to believe his true nobility and future as a renowned King of the Geats.
Macbeth fights courageously so he may be reported as a "valor's minion" and "Bellona's bridegroom." Macbeth values success because it brings fame, new titles, and royal favor. As long as these mutable goods fulfill his desires, which is the case until he covets the kingship, Macbeth is an honorable gentleman. Once Macbeth's self-love demands a satisfaction that cannot be honorably obtained, he employs dishonorable tactics to gain his selfish desires. As Macbeth returns victoriously from battle, his self-love demands recognition of his greatness.
The generosity of a king is central to the king/warrior relationship; thus, another aspect of a good king is rewarding the loyal service of a thane, as Hrothgar does for Beowulf. Not only must a king provide his people with protection and sanctuary (the building of Heorot, accepting Beowulf... ... middle of paper ... ...r/ as Franks and Frisians learn how the king/ has fallen in combat" (lines 2563-2565) and "Full of this feud, this festering hatred,/ the Swedes, I am certain, will swiftly beset us,/ as soon as they learn our lord lies lifeless" (lines 2641-2643). If old king Beowulf had truly sought to serve the needs of his people, rather than his own needs there would be no compelling story to tell. It is vital and logical that there exists a tension when trying to reconcile two vastly different roles. Quite appropriately, it makes Beowulf a more interesting character to relate to.
This allows the reader to notice how kings in the past were, and the power they possessed over the people of the area. “Our eternal lord grants some men wisdom, some wealth and makes others great.” (1726-1729) This quote displays Beowulf’s greatness as told to him by Hrothgar. He believes that the eternal lord grants this to him, and that this is not initially under Beowulf’s control. Despite that, Beowulf still uses that inborn quality to further his achievements as a king and warrior. Throughout the story, Beowulf handles many tough situations in which he almost always comes out the hero, saving the lives of the citizens.
Beowulf as Epic Hero Epic heroes usually exemplify the character traits most admired in their societies, and Beowulf is no exception. "Beowulf" is set in the Anglo-Saxon society, a time when war was rampant among the many peoples trying to take over the different kingdoms of England. In this dangerous, violent time people lived in constant peril and jeopardy. These conditions only allowed people of great bravery to survive and men of outstanding courage were admired the populous. These warriors fought for their leader and tribe in return for treasure and protection.
Chaucer's Knight is respected because he has proven himself in battle. Earlier poets recognised the violence of war but saw it as an honourable struggle, and that death was a worthy sacrifice. In pre-World War One poems, Alfred Tennyson among other poets describes war; the emphasis on honour and glory: "When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made!" The charge is the best-known example of the heroism and stupidity of war, but Tennyson focuses on the glory.
While having one or the other can make you a great warrior, combining these two qualities puts a potential king above the rest. In Hrothgar’s speech, another great piece of advice he gives to Beowulf is to “hold it all with patient care,/ and temper strength with wisdom” (1705-1706). This piece of advice is especially important because a great king must be wise, patient, and strong. If Beowulf wants to be a successful king then there are warrior qualities he needs to learn to set aside. One of the main warrior qualities he need to let go of is the act of being impulsive.
Wiglaf perseveres through the arduous battle, determined to prevail and attest to his bravery. Without the divided effort of Hrothgar, Beowulf, and Wiglaf, the people of Herot would not have been saved from destruction. Each character, encompassing a unique trait, is crucial to success. When faced with evil, these characters willingly execute adequate effort in hopes of defeating this evil. The acts of dedication, heroism and bravery in Beowulf are critical to the victory of protagonists in the epic poem.