Leadership Qualities Of Beowulf

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Beowulf is a classical Old English epic poem that has everything an action packed story should have. There are monsters in the form of Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon. There are also heroes that throughout the epic distinguish themselves from the other characters through battle and companionship. One main trait presented throughout is leadership and the most important leader in this epic is Beowulf. Beowulf is a strong warrior that maintains peace for his people as long as he is their leader. Beowulf was a warrior of legendary proportion but the people relied on him to much and when he dies it seems that his people are doomed. Leaders like Beowulf bring prosperity while they are in power but once they leave it creates a power gap that …show more content…
“The kings who ruled them had courage and greatness.”(2) That is in the first line of the epic which shows just how important the traits of courage and greatness will be throughout the epic. Beowulf showed throughout the epic that he is courageous and heroic, but nothing more than a fierce warrior. When he heard about the demon Grendel terrorizing Heorot he immediately ordered a boat and assembled his men. The tales he heard talked of an unstoppable monster, but that didn’t deter him in the slightest it only inspired him. Since the men who followed Beowulf saw how determined he was they eagerly followed him trusting that he would not disappoint them. “Men climbed eagerly up the gangplank”(212) Since Beowulf had proven himself in all of his previous battles with monsters everyone trusted his ability to defeat another one. The men believed in Beowulf’s ability more than they did their own since he was suppose to be the strongest man alive. Beowulf didn’t inspire them to fight with him, instead he taught them to follow him into battle but watch him conquer the enemy. Beowulf cared about his own victory more than he did about the lives of the men that followed him. “Hygelac’s kinsman was keenly watching”(737) Beowulf saw Grendel enter the mead hall, but waited until the monster had killed one of his men before he attacked. From a warrior’s perspective it was a smart decision to see how the creature would attack, but no good leader would wait idly while one of his men was being killed. They had complete faith in him so much so that they slept peacefully when Grendel first appeared fully believing Beowulf would stop the monster. Beowulf was a powerful warrior but he never wanted the help of others which greatly diminished his leadership abilities. This is shown again when Beowulf fought Grendel’s mother without asking for any assistance from the men he handpicked to join him

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