Beowulf and Grendel: Competition between Rivals

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Competition between rivals causes a battle over the mead halls. Jealousy leads to rage between protagonists. These leaders include Unferth, Beowulf and Grendel. In the stories Beowulf and Grendel, there are fierce encounters between enemies who attempt to defend their boasts and seek revenge, leaving no true hero.

“…I can show the wise Hrothgar a way to defeat his enemy and find respite…” (Beowulf 21). In Beowulf’s call to adventure, he is not invited to help the Danes; Beowulf takes it upon himself to go to the land of the Danes because he feels the need to relive his father Ecgtheow’s accomplishments. Beowulf was mocked by numerous people, such as Unferth, telling Beowulf that he is not man enough. “Unferth, a son of Ecglaf’s spoke contrary words…Beowulf’s coming made him sick…” (Beo 35). Unferth pushes the fact that Beowulf is only there to show off his strength. Beowulf is not a hero because he takes selfish credit for his actions. Beowulf is fighting these creatures and obstacles with his band of men, “…Beowulf and his band of men crossed the wide strand, striding along…as they hastened to where…the young king Ongentheow’s killer…was dispensing rings inside his bawn…” (Beo 135). In addition, he has achieved his goal of stealing the spotlight in the town of the Danes. Likewise, Beowulf keeps out the evil only when he is asked to, “A lot was to happen in later days in the fur of battle…the wide kingdom has reverted to Beowulf…” (Beo 151). Because Beowulf shows arrogance, his leadership is dishonest.

Beowulf's drive to help the people did not fully exist throughout the story of Beowulf and Grendel. “…we belong by birth to the Geat people and owe allegiance to Lord Hygelac…” (Beo 19). In the beginning of the story Beowulf was consistent with his actions, but as it drew near the end, there were no significant signs that proved Beowulf's compassion toward the Dane people. His true ulterior motive was to prove to many that he was more than just Ecgtheow’s son,...
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