Beowulf vs. Beowulf
Deciding what is the best choice for others and deciding what choice is best for us is an ongoing battle. Sometimes the best choice for you might not be the best for others, which deems us selfish. The remaining times, the best choice for others might not be the best choice for us, which judges us as people pleasers. Most audiences can relate to the story of Beowulf because we all battle through these similar conflicts daily. Throughout the poem Beowulf, the audience becomes conscious of the fact that the characters of this time period are continuously fighting two contradicting battles; an external battle between the vicious monsters and an internal battle with human habits of pride, cowardice and self-concern.
Beowulf deals with one huge internal problem: pride. Beowulf tries to convince Hrothgar that he is an honorary warrior and to trust him that he can get rid of Grendel. During his boast, Beowulf brags that “they have seen my strength for themselves, have watched me rise from the darkness of war, dripping with my enemies’ blood” (417-419). Beowulf tries to balance out his pride in his boast by telling Hrothgar that he isn’t just bragging about himself- his fellow Swedes have also seen him fresh and victorious out of battle. Beowulf’s attempt to proposing battle comes off as somewhat selfish, arrogant and exudes pride in himself. In this round between pride and Beowulf, pride overtook him. Continuing in his boast/proposal to Hrothgar, Beowulf asks “What man, anywhere under Heaven’s high arch, has fought in such darkness, endured more misery or been harder pressed? Yet I survived…” (575-577). Beowulf’s diction makes it seem as if he has undergone far worse battles and situations than any man “under Heaven’s high arch” and still remained triumphant. Beowulf’s pride in himself is clearly displayed here and obviously forgets that he must remain humble even though he is a highly prized warrior. Hand in hand with pride comes cowardice....
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