The poem emphasizes Beowulf’s heroism in two separate stages in his life: his youth and in his adulthood. Beowulf encounters three significant events that challenge his strength and validity in which he proves to be triumphant, the battles with: Grendel, Grendel’s mother and lastly the dragon. The two stages of his life, though years apart, correlate to two separate moral principles. As a young warrior, Beowulf is fixated in creating a noble reputation and image; a goal that is achieved through brave and remarkable battles. As old age approaches, Beowulf’s desire for fame diminishes, but he continues to test his strength and fulfill his adventurous personality.
He must protect his people. But Beowulf seems so caught up in the surreal threats such as, monsters and dragons, he fails to realize the real peril he has left his people in. Beowulf is aware of his age and uneasy feeling toward his success yet he chooses to take on the dragon anyways. Although the dragon is defeated the Geat people are presented with even greater danger of the Sweds who will surely pounce on their nation. Therefore, throughout the story Beowulf is presented as the ultimate hero; demonstrating the strength of thirty men in his grasp while also using his powerful insight to avoid unnecessary conflict.
Many readers of the poem Beowulf may find it difficult to distinguish the 'good' kings from the rest – indeed, almost every man who holds a throne in the epic is named at one point or another to be 'good'. By examining the ideals of the time period as identified by the 'heroic code', it becomes clearer that a truly 'good' king is one who generously distributes treasure and weaponry to deserving retainers to honour courage and strength displayed in battle and to encourage the defense of the kingdom (Intro). When Beowulf ascends the throne of the Geats, the heroic traits of courage and strength for which he was so highly praised as a warrior do not serve well in making him a good king. Indeed, by exhibiting the traits of a thane, that is, by relying solely on the strength of one man alone, he ultimately leaves his kingdom defenseless. By first examining how Hrothgar ensures a future for his people, and then by analyzing Beowulf's actions and motivations as king before he fights the dragon, this essay will define good kingship and expose Beowulf's failings as a king.
Does he love fame and enjoy being viewed as a hero way too much? Beowulf is obsessed with keeping his reputation as a hero from the beginning, he is always worrying about how the world will see him and is continuously wanting to prove his part as a leader and a hero. Beowulf is prepared to face his fate and destiny so, as an old man in his late years, Beowulf responds to the call of battling the dragon, to guarantee that his people stay safe. He insists on fighting with the dragon that is terrorizing the countryside. Together, Wiglaf and Beowulf defeat and kill the dragon, but Beowulf is left wounded, he has won every battle but this one.
Beowulf: Wiglaf Wiglaf, along with Beowulf’s other warriors, watches Beowulf initiation his battle against the dragon. When the fight seems to be turning against Beowulf, however, all of the warriors except Wiglaf -flee. Wiglaf’s purpose in the poem, however , is more than simply someone to help Beowulf. Wiglaf is the model of a good warrior, and as a good warrior, Wiglaf demonstrates the importance of heroism to society and the necessity of loyalty to one’s kinsman and lord. He is willing to saccrifice his life to reciprocate the gifts which he received from his lord, but even more important, he symbolizes the need for cooperation between warrior and lord in order to preserve society against overwhelming odds Wiglaf also demonstrates the responsibility of the good warrior, a contrast to the cowardly warriors, who represent all that sciet shoud not emulate.
“With God's assistance this foreign prince has performed a task that we, with our deep wisdom and cunning, attempted in vain.” (Chapter 14). Again, Beowulf illustrated an ideal hero, because god had been alongside with Beowulf throughout the poem. Aside from faith, Beowulf also allowed fate to take over the results of his battles. As Beowulf was prepared for his battle against the dragon, he explained “…let fate decide our doom as it will, our destiny---fate, and almighty God.” (Chapter 35). Since fate had resulted to permit Beowulf to wins in every battle he encountered, Beowulf was destined to become a hero.
Beowulf’s battle with Grendel not only symbolizing his strengths, courage, and bravery but also the youth of a warrior. Beowulf proved that he was young and strong enough to face Grendel with out any weapons. ... ... middle of paper ... ...lized death. Beowulf stood strong against the dragon while his men were “No help or backing was to be had then from his high-born comrades; that hand-picked troop broke ranks and ran for their lives to the safety of the wood.” (pg.175). The event of the men backing out is the symbol for the Anglo Saxon’s fall of their culture.
From the double victories over Grendel and his mother to the final battle against the dragon, Beowulf retains his status and his persona as a hero, a definite king and without a doubt a noble one. As the reader recalls Scefing was also described as a noble king, the pieces and reasoning of the previously digressive tangent rapidly falls into place. “Then Scyld departed at the destined hour, that powerful man sought the Lord’s protection. His own close companions carried him down to the sea, as he, lord of the Danes, had asked while he could still speak'; (BEO 26-30). This is the exact sequence of events which happens to Beowulf, his “destined hour'; being the fatal wound inflicted by the dragon.
They are the ones who takes the first steps in any battle or advancement. The text states, “A king must allow a man to grow famous, and his family rich, gives him land and towns to rile and delight in,” (1728). This means that a king must think of the good of others before they think about themselves. Like in Beowulf, at the final battle, Wiglaf, Beowulf’s right-hand man, shows the same bravery, loyalty and devotion that Beowulf showed during the entire poem. This loyalty is selflessness because Wiglaf ignored his own safety and showed bravery and his courage against the dragon and helps Beowulf (2694).
...Journey, Gandalf had said, “True courage is knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare it.” After a huge battle of the Five Armies, the dwarves are finally able to reclaim their treasure and kingdom under the mountain, after the great dragon is slayed. Bilbo and Gandalf return to Bag End where Bilbo continues to live. Regardless that he is no longer accepted by the respectable hobbit society, Bilbo doesn’t mind. He had been on a life changing adventure. With the qualities of a hero, Baggins’ actions, and choices make it clear what he was.