Beowulf Vs Grendel Essays

His reputation intact, Beowulf prepares to meet Grendel and further enhance his fame.As he discusses Beowulf's later years, the poet lists the virtues (2177 ff.) leading to the great man's fine reputation.When a drunken Unferth verbally assaults Beowulf at the first banquet, at issue is the hero's reputation.

Unferth's slur accuses Beowulf of foolishly engaging in a seven-day swimming contest on the open sea, as a youth, and losing.Beowulf comes to the assistance of the Danes (Scyldings) for complicated reasons.Certainly he is interested in increasing his reputation and gaining honor and payment for his own king back in Geatland.Beowulf could become king then but is more loyal than ambitious.Queen Hygd offers Beowulf the throne after her husband dies, thinking that her young son (Heardred) is unable to protect the kingdom; Beowulf refuses and serves the young king faithfully.When the hero returns to Geatland, he continues his loyalty to his uncle and king, Hygelac, risking his life even when the tactics of the ruler are not the best.After Hygelac is killed in an ill-advised raid on Frisia, Beowulf makes a heroic escape (2359 ff.) back to Geatland.He points out that he swam with Breca for five nights, not wanting to abandon the weaker boy.Rough seas then drove them apart, and Beowulf had to kill nine sea monsters before going ashore in the morning.However, we soon learn that a major motivation is a family debt that Beowulf owes to Hrothgar.The young Geat is devoted to the old king because Hrothgar came to the assistance of Beowulf's father, Ecgtheow, years before.


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