Essay: Beowulf

Beowulf may be a strong hearted muscle head, but his biggest virtue that overtakes all others is his loyalty. What started this loyalty streak in him was Hrothgar. What Hrothgar did was not only save Beowulfs dad, but Beowulf himself. Beowulf feels like he could never repay Hrothgar for what he did for Beowulf and his family. It wasn’t until Hrothgar was very old when Beowulf was able to help him.

People now a days need Beowulf’s loyalty. When Beowulf goes to kill Grendel for Hrothgar. He is loyal to his king and his men. When Beowulf is talking to Higlac. ‘ My lord Higlac might think less of me if I let my sword’ If I hid behind some broad linden shield.’ He is saying that he doesn’t want to let his sword guide him somewhere that his feet will not go, this is also saying that he doesn’t want to hide behind a shield and sword. This shows that even though he doesn’t want to go and risk his life he does it anyway because thats what his people did back then because of their loyalty. ‘ All of Beowulf’s band had jumped from their beds; ancestral swords raised and ready, determined to protect their prince if they could.’ Their courage was greatly appreciated at the time. People now a days are all about themselves and would not be willing to fight for some random person.

Beowulf’s fight with Grendel’s mother was another test for his loyalty to the people. Grendel’s mother was in grief for her son. She then attacks Herot and in her rage she carries off one of Hrothgar’s closest friends in her vicious claws. She also carries Grendel’s arm back which Beowulf hung to show everyone what he did. ‘Grendels mother is hidden in her terrible home, in a place you’ve not seen.’ This is showing Grendel’s mother’s loyalty to her son that she risks her life just to retrieve her sons arm and also take revenge on the people. ‘Beowulf leaped, into the lake, would not wait for anyone’s answer; the heaving water covered him over’ he sank into the bottom fighting the waves’ then when the creatures started attacking Beowulf.’ ‘ Brought other monsters surrounding to see her catch, a heart of sea beasts who beats at his mail shirt, stabbing with tusks and teeth as they followed along.’ This shows how Grendel’s mother’s creatures are loyal to her, because they are fighting for her when Beowulf dives into the water. This would never happen today.

Showing Beowulf’s loyalty as he goes and fights the dragon years later. ‘ And only one of them remaining, stood there, miserable, remembering, as a good man must, what kinship should mean’, this is showing that Beowulf’s men are staying loyal to him but only one stays with him as he battles the dragon’ Wiglaf, he is the only one who remains loyal to Beowulf and stays at his side as he battles that dragon. ‘ Remembering everything his lord and cousin had given him, armour and gold and the great estates Wextans family enjoyed’ Wiglaf’s mind was made up; he raised his yellow shield and drew his sword’ this is showing Wiglaf is the only one who remains loyal to Beowulf and stays at his side as he battles the dragon and fights for his king.

Source: Essay UK - http://xbmm43.com/essays/english-literature/essay-beowulf/


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