British Literature I
17 March 2014
Beowulf is the leader of the Geat warriors and he is known for his courage and loyalty. He gained his reputation by being gracious and willing. Throughout this epic poem, Beowulf has many adventures including encountering the monstrous, conquering and defeating it, and finally having to live in the aftermath. Beowulf encounters things like sea monsters, Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. The most important lesson in Beowulf is the qualities of a good leader or King.
If Beowulf is a good leader or hero, people will look up to him. “Behavior that’s admired is the path to power among people everywhere. (lines 24-25).” This connects simply by meaning people look up to heroes and give them power by doing so. Beowulf is a specific character that fits this, “Take delight in this torque, dear Beowulf, wear it for luck and wear also this mail from our people’s armory: may you prosper in them. (lines 1216-1218).” Beowulf was presented gifts by the Geats for his heroicness. A great way Beowulf showed his heroicness during battle, “Hygelac’s Kinsman kept thinking about his name and fame: he never lost heart. Then, in a fury, he flung his sword away. (lines 1529-1531).” Even though Beowulf’s sword had failed him against the dragon, he did not give up, and he fought back with his bare hands.
Wiglaf also shows qualities of a great leader. He was the only one to stay by Beowulf’s side during his battle against the dragon. “He lunged at the enemy lower down so that his decorated sword sank into its belly and the flames grew weaker. (lines 2699-2701).” Wiglaf gets past the flames and strikes to help Beowulf because he was injured and could not pierce the dragon’s scales. After Beowulf’s battle with Wiglaf against the dragon, Beowulf dies from the venom in the bite in his neck. Prior to the battle, all of Beowulf’s warriors retreated into the woods. Wiglaf did not like that they did that, “Then a stern...
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