Fate or Providence
In Beowulf there is a constant struggle. It may be a physical struggle, psychological struggle, or a struggle between people and beasts. Beowulf is a Geatish hero, warrior, and an emotional being that stands up for and defends the weak or needy. Beowulf has a constant struggle with what seems to be pride, or questions why he does these heroic acts. He questions whether he does these acts for the reason of fate or the reason of providence. Some people believe fate and providence can essentially mean the same thing. But fate cannot occur without some kind of a series of events that God creates to decide someone’s fate.
In lines 440-479 Beowulf is speaking about what would happen if he were to lose his battle with Grendel. He is questioning whether the fight would be worth it because as the battle draws near, he begins to worry. He starts to think if it is really his battle to fight. Hrothgar spoke to Beowulf and stated that he came there to defend his people. He said that he came there because it was the right thing to do. He used an example of a debt that is father owed to his people and that somewhat convicted Beowulf into doing it. The act of Hrothgar using this tactic was an essential turning point in the story because it convinced Beowulf to fight. After Beowulf decided to fight Grendel he begins to think of ways that it would benefit him. Beowulf kept these secrets to himself and he let them influence his decision to fight the beast. As he does this, it is then he becomes very prideful.
When he prepares to fight Grendel he is conversing with his men about what is to come as the battle draws near. In lines 677-685 he says, “When it comes to fighting, I count myself as dangerous any day as Grendel. So it won’t be a cutting edge I’ll wield to mow him down, easily as I might. He has no idea of the arts of war, of shield or sword play, although he does possess a wild strength. No weapons, therefore, for either this night: unarmed he hall...
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