Beowulf Character Analysis Essay

802 Words 4 Pages
Throughout the epic, Beowulf ages fifty-plus years. He goes to several battles, becomes a great warrior, establishes a name for himself, and eventually becomes king of the Geats. In order for Beowulf to establish an identity and prove to his people that he is trustworthy, he fought in a series of battles including Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. He claims to have the strength of thirty men in one arm and often gives gifts of great measure. He proves, time and time again, that he is an exceptional warrior, as he brought and maintained peace between the Geats and the Danes, but often shows wlenco. This character “flaw” exudes through Beowulf’s character in many different instances, such as the swimming contest with Breca, the battle …show more content…
They both set out into the sea, fully armored and with swords. The match was said to have lasted five nights. In the middle of the match, a great storm broke out. The storm washed Breca away from Beowulf, and eventually onto the shore of his homeland. Shortly after the men were separated, Beowulf was confronted by nine nicors. In Heorot, Unferth actually addresses Beowulf’s wlenco. He asks, “Are you the Beowulf who took on Breca in a swimming match on the open sea, risking the water just to prove that you could win? … And no matter who tried, friend or foe, to deflect the pair of you, neither would back down” (1246). They could have both been killed, but the self-glory is all either of them were interested in. They were fueled by the fame, thus leading to an incredibly rash decision on Beowulf’s part, to accept the …show more content…
He peacefully rules for fifty years, until the dragon is awakened. The dragon is guarding a treasure and is awakened when a slave stumbles upon his lair and steals a goblet. The angry dragon then waits until nightfall and attacks Beowulf’s kingdom, burning down the homes of his people. Concerned for his people, Beowulf rashly decides to take on the dragon single-handedly. Rather than risking the lives of his men, he goes into battle alone. One may argue that this is a noble act, but that is not entirely the case. Beowulf knows he will die in combat with the dragon, but still goes head to head with it. At this point, Beowulf is without an heir to inherit his kingdom; there are no plans for what is to happen to his kingdom upon his demise. When Grendel attacked Heorot, Hrothgar did not fight him for glory, but instead, sent Beowulf and his men to do it. This was to insure Hrothgar’s people would not be without a king-which is what is more important in the grand scheme of things. Beowulf, on the other hand, displays his wlenco and decides to fight the dragon alone, knowing he will die, with no regard to what will happen to his kingdom and his

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