The Qualities Of A King Essay, Research Paper
The Qualities of a King
I feel that the story of Beowulf is one of courage, nobility, and heroism. Beowulf possesses each of these attributes both as a young prince and an elder king. To me, these qualities allow him to become an honored king, yet they also lead to his death. His actions are to be viewed as a precedent for young princes and future kings. I believe that every young prince inspires to earn enough respect to become king in his latter years.
In my opinion, Beowulf first earns this respect when he sails to Hero to kill the monster that has been keeping the soldiers out of their home, Rendel. Upon arrival in Herot, Beowulf brags of his past accomplishment. While this beast has killed many of Hrothgar’s men, Beowulf vows to destroy him with his bare hands. I feel that even after doing as he so promise, Beowulf has still not finished his duties. The following day, he is faced with yet another challenge of killing Grendel’s angry mother. When Beowulf is asked to perform this task, he accepts whole heartily. I believe he sees it as another chance to gain fame, “Let him who may get glory before death: that is best for the warrior after he has gone from life.” Once again I feel, Beowulf returns successful in his battle with the monster, only to increase his popularity within his people. I believe that these courageous and heroic deeds are expected of any young or aging prince.
I feel that clearly Beowulf’s brave encounters with these monsters show his king and followers that he is worthy of becoming a fearless leader. However, his ability to rule goes beyond those feats in battle. Beowulf has been showered with gifts of gold and riches for his tremendous achievements of killing the monsters. I believe that this is where his manner is shown to be one of strong moral. While he could have easily kept them all for himself, Beowulf gives his rewards to his king, Higlac as he was instructed to do. In addition, Beowulf declined his first offering at the throne. I see where his sense of morality and loyalty to Higlac tells him that it is only right for Higlac’s son to take the throne before himself. I feel that a young prince should wisely follow these decent acts.
Again, I feel that when Beowulf accepts the role of King of the Geats, he does not change as a person or as a warrior. Once again, a monster is brought to the attention of Beowulf, this time in his own land. Even in his old age, Beowulf vows to fight this dragon on his own. I feel that this battle was not fought for his fame, but for the safety of his people. Beowulf attacks the dragon as he had done so many times in the past, in hope of a victory. However, I believe he quickly learns that his strength and armor is no match for the fire-breathing dragon. As the fight comes to a close, Beowulf lies dying on the ground, with all but one man left to his aid.
Although the dragon was defeated, the Geats lost their honorable, noble king. I believe that he died doing what any good leader would, defending his land and people. I feel Beowulf’s mistake was letting his ego take over. He tries to take on the dragon alone and lost his life in doing so. I feel that this is an especially notable duty for any young prince to follow. While it is necessary to be brave and courageous, I feel a prince or king must know his own limitations in order to succeed.