Proper Kingship In Beowulf

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Beowulf: A Guide to Proper Kingship Great authoritative figures lead their people in times of good and bad by setting moral examples. In Beowulf, Beowulf serves as an authoritative figure through his youthful heroism. The epic begins by discussing Shild, the first king of Denmark, and how Shild is the basis of what a good king should be. The plot advances to Beowulf, a noble warrior from Geatland, who saves the Danes from Grendel and his mother because Hrothgar, king of the Danes, fails to show strength in a time of need. The epic forwards to Wiglaf, a young kinsman of Beowulf, who displays bravery, benevolence, and loyalty as he aids an elderly Beowulf in slaying a dragon. Shild is considered a great king because he makes Denmark a nation to be feared as he conquers neighboring nations and rewards his warriors. Beowulf is a dominant warrior who displays leadership when nobody else steps up to the challenge. Wiglaf, just a young …show more content…
Hrothgar knows of Beowulf’s strength, so Hrothgar is welcoming and generous to Beowulf when he arrives. As Beowulf recalled to his father, he says, “When Healfdane’s famous son heard / That I’d come to challenge Grendel, he gave me / A seat of honor alongside his son.” (84). Hrothgar wants to ensure that Beowulf saves the danes from Grendel, so he offers Beowulf great treasure. He declares, “... Purge Herot / And your ship will sail home with its treasure-holds full.” (30). The incentive proves successful as Beowulf slays Grendel and Grendel’s mother. In this scene, Hrothgar proves to be a good king by finding a solution that benefits all parties. This parallels with Shild and his warriors. Shild gives golden rings to his warriors, and the warriors shape their wealth and fame with swords. Incentivising proves resourceful because issues are resolved and all parties

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