Beowulf Essays

Beowulf Essays-14
He has and continues to amass treasures; his intent now is in building his fame.

He has and continues to amass treasures; his intent now is in building his fame.Unferth's slur accuses Beowulf of foolishly engaging in a seven-day swimming contest on the open sea, as a youth, and losing.

Beowulf is courageous and famous for his performance in battle but equally well known for his good deeds.

Although aggressive in war, Beowulf has "no savage mind" (2180) and never kills his comrades when drinking, an important quality in the heroic world of the mead-hall.

Beowulf respects the gifts of strength and leadership that he possesses.

As he prepares to meet the dragon, near the end of the poem, now King Beowulf again considers his reputation.

As he dies, Beowulf passes the kingdom on to the brave and loyal Wiglaf.

Reputation Another motivating factor for Beowulf — and a central theme in the epic — is reputation.

Now deceased, Ecgtheow had killed a leader of another tribe in a blood feud.

When the tribe sought vengeance, Hrothgar, then a young king, sheltered Beowulf's father and settled the feud by paying tribute (wergild) in the form of "fine old treasures" (472) to Ecgtheow's enemies. The tie between the families goes back many years, and Beowulf is proud to be able to lend his loyal services to Hrothgar.

His reputation intact, Beowulf prepares to meet Grendel and further enhance his fame.

As he discusses Beowulf's later years, the poet lists the virtues (2177 ff.) leading to the great man's fine reputation.

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