Beowulf Essay, Research Paper
Beowulf and His Pride
One of Beowulf’s main characteristics is his ever present pride. To most protagonists their pride is usually explained by a friend or narrator. However, Beowulf is one who likes to show the whole world how important and valuable he is to them. Through out the chapters which we have read it seems as though the whole point in the book is to show off his strength. He presents himself before a fight with boasting and an ostentatious manner of fighting.
When Beowulf was a little boy he wanted to show his strength and entered a race with his friend Breeca. He knew that he would win with no effort at all, but then, due to a storm, he lost his way. While Beowulf was trying to return to land he managed to kill nine sea monsters with his bare hands and still caught up to Brecca. He apparently bragged to such an extent that everyone in Scandinavia knew about this race and the courageous way he cleared the sea of evil. He, at this young age, had no need to think about death. All he thought about was foolishly having fun and proving himself to the spectators.
When Beowulf fought with Grendel, the demon who was terrorizing Herot Hall, he came there boasting about how worthy he was to fight for Denmark. The people accepted him as a deserving warrior and permitted him to do what ever he needed to rid them of Grendel. Beowulf wanted to fool Grendel into thinking that he was sleeping so that Grendel would try to kill him, but instead Beowulf would terminate him. That night Grendel did come and fell right into Beowulf’s trap. Beowulf had Grendel in his hands, but no matter how strong Beowulf was the demon escaped missing only an arm. Grendel would soon die in his lair because of blood loss, but Beowulf was unhappy that he could not stretch Grendel’s body on the floor. However, he still hung Grendel’s arm, just to show how only he was strong enough to kill the monster. This time when Beowulf went to fight he told the king that if he would die then the king should give Beowulf’s armor to its rightful owner.
In Beowulf’s next fight with Grendel’s mother, he showed once more that he was capable of such an adventurous task. There was no soldier brave enough to take on a monster that lives in the pits of hell and thrives on the bodies of innocent men. However, Beowulf ostentatiously jumped into the fiery lake and once more showed to the whole world that he was the greatest warrior of all time. Beowulf, maturing, told the king to take care of his armor and more importantly, to make sure that his soldiers don’t remain leaderless. He realized that there are other people he has a responsibility for besides himself.
Throughout Beowulf’s three fights he constantly had self pride and showed his worth to everyone. However, as he got older and fought more battles he realized that there was a possibility that he could die. As Beowulf gets closer to death, he sees that his pride won’t watch over his men or wear his armor. After he realized that with fame came responsibility, he still was a proud and boastful man.