Courage of beowulf

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Courage of beowulf

By | April 2002
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In the epic Beowulf courage is an on going theme that is shown throughout the entire story. By definition courage is the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes on ones own will and determination. There are many things form the epic that could be used to prove this statement, but I chose to use the section entitled "The Final Battle." In this section there are two great speeches given by both Beowulf and Wiglaf. I believe that in both of these monologues courage is portrayed by the two warriors, and it is easy to see why. In Section 14, lines 674-685 Beowulf says,

"....I feel no shame, with shield and sword and armor, against this monster: when he comes to me I mean to stand, not to run from his shooting flames, stand tillfate decides which one of us wins. My heart is firm, my hands calm: I need nohot words. Wait for me close by, my friends. We shall see, soon, who will survivethis bloody battle, stand when the fighting is done. No one else could do what Imean to, here, no man but me could hope to defeat this monster. No one couldtry..." Now, this passage pretty much explains Beowulf's courage without an interpretation, but for the sake of argument I will interpret it for you. Beowulf is saying that he has no fear in fighting this monster, because he means to stand and not run. He says that his heart is firm and his hands are calm, meaning again that he is not scared because he isn't shaking. Now for a man not to be scared even though his is about to meet his demise, that takes a lot of courage.

In Section 15, lines 771-790 Wiglaf says,
"....He meant to kill this monster himself, our mighty king, fight this battle aloneand unaided, as in the days when his strength and daring dazzled men's eyes. Butthose days are over and gone and our lord must lean on younger arms. And wemust go to him, while angry flames burn at his flesh, help our glorious king! By...