Analysis Of Beowulf: Everything Is For The Glory

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Everything is for the Glory
(A discussion of the motivations of Beowulf in the epic poem, Beowulf.) “Early in the poem, Beowulf is young, brave, and has no one to worry about but himself. Because of this he can risk everything in his quest for personal glory” (Stitt). There is a vast and ongoing debate about the motivations behind many of Beowulf’s actions in the epic, Beowulf. Before indulging in Beowulf’s motivations specifically, mentioning what a motivation is might make some sense. A dictionary definition basically states that a motivation is desire one has to do something. There are moral motivations such as out of loyalty, duty, or as a favor to someone, however there are also motivations that are more selfish. These motivations consist
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In the epic poem, Beowulf, Beowulf’s motivations are his sense of duty, desire for glory, and need to leave a mark behind. Beowulf fights Grendel the monster because he sees it as his duty to do so, not simply for the sport of killing a monster. The idea of duty is sometimes when an individual owes someone else a favor, or if the individual has the ability to do something, that person should use their ability. In Beowulf’s case, he is physically able to help Hrothgar out and therefore, makes it his duty to defeat Grendel. “My people have said, the wisest, most knowing and best of them, that my duty was to go to the Danes’ Great king” (47). The people in the land that Beowulf rules told him to come help out and therefore it became his obligation to go ask Hrothgar if …show more content…
Being a hero who is famous and has all of the glory is something that Beowulf desires and this desire led him to the fight with Grendel, Grendel’s mom, and the dragon. Beowulf wanted to win the public admiration that would come from slaying several monsters and have people for generations remember him as an amazing hero. “Beowulf is willing to put himself in danger, and he accepts the challenge of fighting the monster, Grendel, for the honor of helping the Danes” (Jankowski). Seeking honor and fame that will last for decades is a major motivation for Beowulf. As with most heroes, if a hero does a noble deed and no one is there to congratulate them, it is really not worth doing. There is seemly no point in doing something spontaneous and remarkable if no one is around to hear about it. “That this one favor you should not refuse me -- That I, alone and with the help of my men, may purge all evil from this hall” (48). The fact that Beowulf requests to defeat Grendel alone with just his men shows how an individual gains more honor by doing something courageous alone rather than with a bunch of help. Beowulf ends up killing Grendel with his bare hands and that is an astonishing achievement in itself. Heroes seek glory to be remembered, but also to serve as role models for future heroes to emulate. Heroes like Beowulf do not want future heroes to imitate them and do exactly as they

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