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Beowulf and Pride - Essay Example

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This discussion declares that at the height of Beowulf’s triumph Hrothgar said the words that would also proclaim Beowulf’s own fall like a prophet who could see the future unfold. That fall would be the result of pride. One it is not hard to see why Beowulf reaps the praise…
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Beowulf and Pride
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Download file to see previous pages He is thus prone too to the spiritual and psychological shortcomings that come with being human. That includes the possibility of becoming proud. In the end, one can say that it was pride that led Beowulf to his death in that combat with the dragon. He has become old. As Hrothgar probably sees in advance, Beowulf’s pride keeps him from seeing his limitations. This being so, he goes to do battle with the dragon on his own at the end of his life. In so doing Beowulf gets killed. Hrothgar’s words, therefore, ring true. At the height of Beowulf’s success, he knows that Beowulf is vulnerable too. He is vulnerable to becoming proud just like all human beings are. As Hrothgar cautions: “Ban, then, such baleful thoughts, Beowulf dearest, best of men, and the better part choose, profit eternally; and temper thy pride, warrior famous!”. This paper asserts, therefore, that as mortal and flawed, though Beowulf is the strongest and bravest warrior in all the land, he too is vulnerable to the weaknesses of all men, and in particular he is vulnerable to pride. Pride is the downfall of Beowulf.
It is important to see that Hrothgar is speaking from the point of view of experience and great wisdom. That wisdom is forged from his own past success and present misfortune of seeing his kingdom devastated by Grendel. He sees that Beowulf is truly remarkable. He is able to do what his best men cannot. Beowulf is able to slay the dragon and also his mother, with his own hands. He is able to do battle with Grendel without using any arms too. Such is his power and his abilities that he is able to do all of this. Moreover, Hrothgar sees that Beowulf is also very popular. His fame has spread very far. In the midst of all these Hrothgar knows that any mortal man will become proud.
When he gives out the warning to Beowulf he is not trying to diminish Beowulf’s success. He is trying to protect him in a way from his own weaknesses. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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As a result of this, many of the verses that clearly indicated its pagan belongings have been changed to ones that point to a Christian frame of reference. The origins of Beowulf remain undoubtedly pagan, however, and the different notions that are held by the characters of the work are influenced and decided by the pagan beliefs of the Norse and the Germanic tribes of the Middle Ages.
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