Time of Change

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Time of Change The amount of bravery and courage displayed by Beowulf in his fights with three different fiends surpasses that of most. Victories over his enemies demand massive power and strength, traits only evident in Beowulf. Each battle appears similar to the others in that Beowulf succeeds in killing his enemy, yet differences exist between the three confrontations. Each of the three battles differs from one another in the preparation leading in to the fight, the means of warfare, and its effect on Beowulf. The preparations made by Beowulf before each of his battles includes different strategies and plots. In preparing for his first battle, Beowulf lures the wretched monster Grendel in to Hrothgar's hall. In order to direct Grendel into a favorable location for the fight, Beowulf sacrifices a Geat soldier. A helpless, despairing soldier perished when, "Grendel snatched at the first Geat he came to, ripped him apart, cut his body to bits with powerful jaws, drank the blood from his veins and bolted him down, hands and feet" (739). Prior to the clash, Beowulf calculated the importance of good fighting grounds. This brutal sacrifice granted Beowulf a favorable location to attack Grendel. To prepare for the battle with Grendel's mother, Beowulf armored himself with chain mail and trudged out to the marsh of Grendel's mother's residence. He ventured to find the "greedy she-wolf who'd ruled those waters for half a hundred years" (1511). Rather than allowing Grendel's mother to search for him, Beowulf splashed down into the water with fearful Geats looking on. Beowulf chose to attack Grendel's mother, opposed to allowing her come to him. A more aggressive approach gave him an early advantage in the fight. Old age crept up on Beowulf, the most experienced warrior of all, yet he placed aside his age and pronounced he would battle The Dragon, with his sights set on winning treasure. These fortunes included those discovered at Sutton Hoo, which were "a helmet, gold coins" and "silver bowls" (Sutton Hoo 34). Beowulf's courage and valor surface when he says, "I've never known fear; as a youth I fought in endless battles. I am old, now, but I will fight again, seek fame still, if the dragon hiding in his tower dares to face me" (2511). Death seemed a likely possibility for Beowulf in the confrontation with The Dragon.

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