Beowulf Essay, Research Paper
Achieving Glory in Beowulf
The anonymously written epic poem Beowulf has Beowulf as the main character. He was a big, strong, fearless, and wise leader and soldier of the Geats. He was so great that, all the many years that he was a king in Geatland, no one would try to fight or declare war against him. Once in this story Beowulf tried to tell everyone how to live a hero s life: he who can earn it should fight for the glory of his name; fame after death is the noblest of goals (1387-1389). He proves this because he is so great. To demonstrate his fame, Beowulf engaged in battle: The fight with Grendel, The fight with Grendel s mother, and the fight with the dragon that took away his life. These acts prove that Beowulf should truly be remembered through today s world.
The fight with Grendel killed the monster that raided Herot. This act showed Beowulf s great courage. No one in the Danish Kingdom could defeat the horrible Grendel. Grendel ate people from the mead hall that the Danish King built called Herot. Beowulf had boasted a lot about how he would kill Grendel. Beowulf said that he would kill the monster with his bare hands. When Beowulf was fighting, he remembered what he had said. He then ripped off Grendel s arm with his bare hands and saved it by hanging it up from the rafters in Herot.
The fight with Grendel s mother assured the Danes that Grendel and his mother were finally dead. This act showed Beowulf s great strength. After Beowulf had torn off the arm of Grendel, the monster s mother got very angry. She left her home, went to Herot, and then stole a soldier and ate him. Beowulf followed her back to her home underwater. When he was in the den he found a huge sword that he took off the wall. He then cut off her head, went to the corner where Grendel lay and chopped off his head too. Then Beowulf swam back to the shore with Grendel s huge head and showed it to the Danes just to let them be assured that they were both dead and that the mead hall was safe to eat in again.
The fight with the dragon was Beowulf s last fight. It showed Beowulf s great stamina. Beowulf was being burned by a gigantic dragon that was belching fire. Beowulf also broke his sword twice but still killed the dragon. When he killed the dragon, Beowulf was about 70 years old. Beowulf could not have killed the dragon without the help of Wiglaf, who came to save Beowulf when his shield started to melt. Wiglaf gave Beowulf a new sword and then shielded him. Beowulf then took the sword and killed the dragon, but the dragon had already done its job. Beowulf then died knowing that he might have gained the fame after death that he sought.
Beowulf gained fame after death because of the acts of killing Grendel, killing Grendel s mother, and killing the dragon. There were also other accomplishments such as having a swimming match with Brecca when he was just a young teenager. He swam over the ocean in a race and killed nine monsters with a sword that he held in his mouth. After Beowulf died, Geatland would be ruined because the Geats would never again have a great, strong leader like Beowulf. They would not have a good army because Beowulf would not be there to help them in wars and fights. People would probably bring Geatland into war because they had a chance to beat them if Beowulf was dead. Geatland would then be conquered and the only thing to remember would be Beowulf.