Conflict Within Beowulf

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 366
  • Published: December 12, 2012
Read full document
Text Preview
British Literature
Academic Paper #1
Confliction within Beowulf
Conflict is a condition of opposition and discord. In a novel or story a main character may be the focus in determining the result of a conflict. Therefore, secondary characters often may be discounted for their own parts in the resolution to the story. Hrothgar, the king of the Dane’s and a secondary character in the epic, Beowulf, written by an unknown author, was responsible for abolishing his land of the monstrosity that plagued his domain. Hrothgar rid his country of evil that haunted his realm by utilizing his great wisdom. King Hrothgar bared the ability to discern and judge what was true, right and lasting. He processed accountable and reliable knowledge. Hrothgar had the experience and understanding to follow the soundest course of action. This was evident in the epic when Beowulf, the powerful and foreign warrior, entered Hrothgar’s kingdom to seek permission to subdue Grendel, the shepherd of evil, who was terrorizing Hrothgar’s region. While requesting his service, Beowulf, in lines 407-455, boasted of his accomplishments and endeavors. For instance Beowulf states this, “They had never seen me boltered (clot) in the blood of enemies when I battled and bound five beasts, raided a troll nest, and in the night-sea slaughtered sea-brutes,” (419-422). Then Unferth, one of Hrothgar’s council members, taunted Beowulf by claiming that Beowulf was a liar and a fool. Hrothgar did not halt Unferth, but instead waited and listened for Beowulf’s response. Beowulf responded in a calm and respectful manner, which proved to Hrothgar that Beowulf was able to be trusted and he then granted Beowulf’s request. Hrothgar’s wisdom led him to listen for Beowulf’s reaction to determine the soundest course of judgment to avoid a matter of greater conflict. Compassion is another quality Hrothgar processed that gave him the responsibility of purging his nation of the destructive force that threatened his country. He processed a deep awareness of sympathy for people who suffered. He had the desire to help and spare those in need. The King of the Danes wanted to ease the pain of people who were helpless and in misery. For instance, in the poem Hrothgar had constructed a majestic mead hall specifically for his loyal warriors. This hall is used for a feast in the epic Beowulf, which is illustrated when , “a bench was cleared in the banquet hall so the Geats could have room to be together and the party sat, proud in their bearing strong and stalwart,” (491-494). Hrothgar’s compassion for these men that came to save his nation was evident with the feast that he provided in the mead hall. This extravagant hall was a place where warriors could meet and gather until Grendel, the demon, sought to kill and devour any man that fell asleep in the magnificent hall. Hrothgar could have forced his men to stay in the mead hall that created specifically for them, but instead he demonstrated his compassion upon them be never demanding that any man ender the exquisite mead hall. Hrothgar’s great compassion, or deep feelings of sympathy for his warriors, helped him rid his country of the conflict based evil. Hrothgar was responsible for overcoming the wickedness that tormented his kingdom through his incredible lack of hubris. King Hrothgar did not possess an undue sense of his own superiority. He never exaggerated his self-confidence. Likewise, Hrothgar possessed immense humility. His extreme lack of pride proved that he was an archetype, a perfect example, of a noble leader. An example of this can be seen when Hrothgar set aside his national pride to do what was right of his country. This happened when Beowulf came to Hrothgar’s domain to request permission to attempt to defeat the evil that plagued Hrothgar’s country. Hrothgar not only permitted Beowulf to attempt to subdue Grendel, but also humbled himself even further. An example can be found when Hrothgar tells Beowulf, “I will...
tracking img