beowulfs character opinion paper
?Beowulf Essay By: HJDECME Jaryn Elders Sept. 8, 2013 Beowulf writing assignment Sister Christa Marie Beowulf’s character begins with the elements of a true hero, but ends with actions based on pride resulting in death, and even though he intended to do good, he portrayed himself as being almost invincible. By telling people that he was better than everyone else, for instance, the story about the time that he and a swimmer competed against each other and Beowulf supposedly “lost” only because he wound up having to save the competitor.
This story he told to people is one example of how he tried to convince people that he was better than he was, and superior to other people. Unfortunately because of his pride, he was killed during his fight with the fire dragon because he was old and did not recognize his own weaknesses. In the poem, Beowulf was trying to help King Hrothgar’s people against the monster Grendel and his mother and help his own people from the fire dragon that was destroying their villages but his pride got in the way and he wound up dying when he did not have to die.
Beowulf was a great warrior and a true hero, however his pride got the best of him, and a great king, that was trying to help his people had to die. In the beginning of the poem Hrothgar and his people were attacked by this monster named Grendel. There was no one around could defeat this horrid beast. However then Beowulf comes and he believes that he and his men can defeat, this so called beast, Grendel. Some of the people were not convinced because of events that were told of Beowulf’s past, however Hrothgar believed in him, and so did most of his thanes.
The very first time Beowulf fought Grendel, Beowulf was weaponless and that is what leads his pride. Later on, to basically prove his strength, he fought Grendel again weaponless, he was doing it just to show off. However he is a hero because he does eventually defeat Grendel and saves Hrothgar’s people. Then Grendel’s mother comes along and wants to avenge her son’s death. She terrorized king Hrothgars men and Beowulf had to step in again and fight Grendel’s mother. Again with much pride he went alone to fight Grendel’s mother at the bottom of a lake. A lake, that when someone goes in they don’t come back out.
It was an acidic lake that melted a sword that Beowulf had. Not one person that has gone into the lake has survived. Yet he went straight in the acidic lake to fight the mother of Grendel. He then killed Grendel’s mother and took Grendel’s head to the king to prove that they don’t need to worry anymore. Which also shows his pride, his need for recognition and his need of glory of the deed that was done. Beowulf then returned to his homeland and became king for fifty winters. Then a thief disturbed the fire dragon by stealing its treasure. A flagon was stolen from the lair.
Beowulf then tries to do what is best for his people because the dragon is attacking the villages. Beowulf then tries to remember his fight with Grendel and his mother so he can fight the dragon. The problem is that Beowulf is very old at this point so when he wants to fight the fire dragon, it seems he is full of pride and feels like he can do it despite his old age. So Beowulf goes to the lair of the dragon with several of his men and the thief to lead the way. They get to the lair but Beowulf goes in first, by himself, and fights the fire dragon, and by fighting it alone, the dragon bites him in the neck and chest, leaving a fatal wound.
Then his loyal friend saves him and finishes off the fire dragon. Beowulf is very satisfied that he got the treasure from the dragon’s lair for his people and even in his dying breath he thanks God. Throughout the story he thanks God a lot, and that gives him good traits of a true hero and where he is not full of pride. However, Beowulf was so full of lots pride when fighting the fire dragon. It is likely that he might not have died in the end if his attitude was changed. So I believe that Beowulf is a hero, however he is just too full of himself that he winds up getting himself killed.
Also at the end of the poem, the last words are he is most eager for fame. That tells me that he wanted glory, glory that would immortalize him throughout the ages. However he did want best for his people so you could also argue that Beowulf was just another regular human that wanted to live forever. The only way to live forever, was for your name and your story to live on. Though Beowulf might not have been a real person, his story and the names in the story will live on and be told in many more times to come.