Hrothgar's pride leads to many deaths among his people, as he is too proud to ask for assistance defeating Grendel, instead hoping that the problem will solve itself. Rather than displaying his weakness by asking for help, Hrothgar allows Grendel to murder his people; he hosted a grand feast, which he knows will draw Grendel, every year in the hopes that Grendel will have lost interest and will leave them alone that year. However, no reprieve is given; every day "for twelve winters, seasons of woe/the lord of the Shieldings suffered," until his plight finally becomes known to the rest of the Scandinavian countries, though his pride and refusal to ask for assistance has prevented it from being known sooner. (l. 147-8) Even then, he does not request help, though he does accept the aid of any who journey to his land. This pride leads Hrothgar to resort to strange practices: sometimes "at pagan shrines they vowed/offerings to idols," and "swore oaths/that the killer of souls might come to their aid." (l. 175-7) Hrothgar eventually admits his weakness and petitions aid, but only to Beowulf after his arrival, thus preserving at least some small portion of his pride. He is only able to do... [continues]
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