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.
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.
Clearly every young prince inspires to earn enough respect to become king in their latter years. Beowulf first earns this respect when he sails to
Herot to kill Grendel, the monster that has been keeping the soldiers out of their home. Upon arrival in Herot, Beowulf brags of his past accomplishments, in order to earn some respect from Hrothgar and his men.
In my youth I have set about many brave deeds.I had bound five, destroyed a family of giants, and at night in the waves slain water-monsters, suffered great pain, avenged an affliction of the Weater-Geats on those who had asked for trouble- ground enemies to bits. And now alone I shall settle affairs with Grendel, the monster, the demon. (Page 32)
While this beast has killed many of Hrothgar’s men, Beowulf vows to destroy him with his bare hands.
Even after doing as he so promised, Beowulf has still not finished his duties. The following day, he is faced with another challenge; killing
Grendel’s angry mother. When Beowulf is asked to perform this task, he accepts whole heatedly , as 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.”(page 45) Once again, Beowulf returns successful in his battle with the monster, only to increase his popularity within his people.
These courageous and heroic deeds are expected of any young or aging prince.
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 was showered with gifts of gold and riches for his tremendous achievements of killing the monsters. 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. 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. These decent acts should be wisely followed
Free Essays: Comparison of Beowulf and The Seafarer
A Comparison of Beowulf and The Seafarer
Beowulf and The Seafarer In a comparison between “Beowulf” and “The Seafarer” one finds two contrasting beliefs in fate and the sea from the story’s main characters. Beowulf is resigned to fate and is humble before the force of the sea, while The Seafarer is fearful of the powers of fate and the sea and is unwilling to accept them.
Though the actions and thoughts of Beowulf give him a god-like appearance in the story he believes that God and fate work together. He boasts of his encounters with devilish sea creatures saying, “I treated them politely,/ Offering the edge of my razor-sharp sword.” This strong statement reveals Beowulf’s divine and invulnerable self-confidence. To Beowulf, “Fate saves/ The living when they drive away death by themselves.” Beowulf is compelled to observe fate but does not feel it should completely rule him. He allows fate to direct his life, but not govern his actions. A display of Beowulf’s belief in fate is evident when he says, “Fate will unwind as it must.” Meaning, there is a master plan to the world with which he must live. When Unferth taunts him, Beowulf replies by questioning Unferth’s manhood and makes a fool of him in front of everyone. Boasting, “Neither he nor you can match me.” Though he tests fate, he has a more fearful respect for the sea. He knows its power from his race with Brecca. The seas were dark and harsh, but he remained humble and ventured through the murky waters because of this respect.
As a contrast to Beowulf’s beliefs, the Seafarer feels that fate destroys all and takes everything away. Fate is an all mighty power to him and no man can control it, no matter what he does. “”Fate is stronger/ And God mightier than any man’s mind.” This shows the Seafarers fearful surrender to these unearthly powers. “Wondering what fate has willed and will do.” Yet with all this fear and sorrow he does not accept it, but rather wills it away. He is afraid of its power and ability to be stronger than any man. Though he fears fate he is ambivalent toward the sea. This indecisiveness is so overpowering it has taken over his life. While ashore, safe and secure visiting his favorite mead hall, he longs for the embrace of the sea.