Theme Of Honor In Beowulf

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William Shakespeare once said “Life every man holds dear; but the dear man holds honor far more precious dear than life.” Honor is a trait that is admired and is considered heroic. In a hero’s lifetime their ultimate goal is to receive honor for their accomplishments. A hero is willing to give up and do anything that will help them succeed. When given the choice between living a cowardly life, and dying a hero most would choose the latter. “Beowulf” by an unknown author, is the story of a hero, Beowulf who battles several monsters, in the search or honor. Greed and a need for honor are Beowulf’s downfalls. Certain traits are deserving of honor, a hero should take responsibility for the safety of their people. and a person’s deeds, shape their …show more content…
Following the dragon’s terror that was released on the city, Beowulf feels guilty for what happened. “Beowulf’s sorrow beat at his heart: he accused himself of breaking God’s law, of bringing the almighty’s anger down on his people.” (XCVI) As King, Beowulf felt responsible for the well being of his people. When a monster attacked them, and put their lives in danger, he gave himself the job of slaying it, even if his skills were not what they once were. As he prepared to battle the dragon, Beowulf spoke of his plan. “In every battle my place was in front, alone, and so it shall be forever, as long as this sword lasts, serves me in the future as it has served me before.” (CIII) Beowulf had never failed using this strategy so far, and this battle would be no different. He put his trust in fate and tried his best. Beowulf is injured during the battle with the dragon. He tells Wiglaf that he wants to see the treasure before he dies. “Hurry bring me ancient silver, precious jewels, shining armor and gems, before I die. Death will be softer, leaving life and this people i’ve ruled so long, if I look at this last of all prizes.” (CXI) Beowulf has acknowledged that it was his time and he had done all he could do. He was content with dying, knowing he died a heroic death. Beowulf was willing to face the consequences that went with being a …show more content…
very soon after arriving in Denmark, Beowulf boasts of his talents and shows his interest in fighting Grendel. “When we crossed the sea, my comrades and I, I already knew that all my purpose was this: to win the goodwill of your people or die in battle, pressed in Grendel’s fierce grip.” (XXIX) Beowulf gives his reasoning for fighting the dragon, “I’ve never known fear; as a youth fought in endless battles. I am old now, but I will fight again, seek fame still, if the dragon hiding in his tower dares to force me.” (CIII) Beowulf grew up fighting, it was something he was comfortable with and was used to doing. He also grew up in a society where it was expected to be honorable and courageous, something he strived for his entire life. Wiglaf encouraged Beowulf before the battle with the dragon. “Beloved beowulf, remember how you boasted, once, that nothing in the world would ever destroy your fame: fight to keep it, now be strong and brave,my noble king, protecting life and fame together.” (CIX) Beowulf said arrogant things about his skills and experience. Battles, like this one were his chance to prove his worth. Beowulf’s experiences made him work harder for each victory in order for him to keep his

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