Beowulf and His Eternal Quest for Fame

Topics: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Hero Pages: 3 (951 words) Published: February 7, 2012
Andrew Strauss
Mrs. Erami
English 2H Period
7 February 2012
Beowulf and His Eternal Quest for Fame
In our modern age, those who possess great talent in any given skill frequently attract a lot of attention; thus they generally become famous. Once the underdog, who usually embraces a humble attitude, starts to become popular and well-known, their personality makes a drastic shift; this new personality develops an egotistical and over-confident attitude, and their desire for fame and glory multiplies exponentially. Regarding the epic poem, Beowulf, the concept of the “the out-of-towner” is thoroughly exemplified by the hero Beowulf; especially acknowledging the matter of Beowulf’s (slightly unequal) balance between his deserving and desiring of praise, glory, and fame. The fact that Beowulf is an epic hero cannot be denied, but this does not mean that he is perfect; his flaw lies in his arrogant ways and his longing for praise. Beowulf certainly deserves the praise he receives (given that he slays two supernatural beings), and yet, even though he is glorified by the Danes, he still aggrandizes himself by telling stories of his bravery and courage (which may or may not be true); Beowulf also dramatically, and unnecessarily, announces that he will fight Grendel without sword or shield. By doing this, Beowulf confirms that he is seeking praise, especially when he brags about his accomplishments: They [The Danes] have seen my strength for themselves

Have watched me rise from the darkness of war
Dripping with my enemies' blood. I drove
Five great giants into chains. Chased
All of that race from the earth. I swam
In the blackness of night, hunting monsters
Out of the ocean, and killing them one
By one. Death was my errand and the fate
They had earned. (151-159)
From this speech, it can be derived that Beowulf is very obviously trying to impress the Danes and King Hrothgar by telling dramatic tales of his “adventures”. Specifically, the last two lines of...
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