Hrothgar fails to defeat Grendel, but apart from his reign, no other kings mentioned in the poem are faced with monsters like Beowulf himself is. Although the poem does not explicitly name or identify his people, the lone survivor is a leader by default because he is the last one of them to die.
Beowulf is a 3, lined poem constructed in the alliterative verse Old English style, copied down by two scribes on a manuscript over a thousand years ago, and continues to be studied today.
But although he had excellent war-gear that presumably used and was worth passing on as a gift to others, he fails to bestow that upon his son. It remains significant that Beowulf is the most renown king from this tale today, though we cannot forget the contributions other kings have made to their reigns as told in Beowulf.
But even in death, Beowulf protects his people - sparing them from a curse tied to the treasures. A Norton Critical Edition. Heorogar had war-gear that he kept to himself for a long time but never gave to his son, so it goes to Hrothgar who later passes it on to Beowulf for his noble deeds.
He manages to slay the dragon, but he is wounded in battle when the dragon bites him on the neck and its poisonous venom kills the mighty hero. No one seems to have troubled the Danes during his reign, so we do not know how he would have handled threats to his throne, but his legacy lives on in his reputation and his son Halfdane.
We will examine here kings as being those leaders who rule over a group of established peoples within the Beowulf poem, and we can analyze kingship as a whole through how these various kings behave while in power.
His reputation is both defined by his inheritance from his forebears, his accomplishments earlier on in life, and in the three children he brings into the world.
Headred tries to be a good king, but ultimately he is not battle strong enough to protect his people, and so due to having a short lived reign we do not know how rich or generous he could have been. If we were looking at the monsters as rulers of their subjects, treasures, etc.
Although Finn has great strength and wealth, he betrays guests in his hall, and this ultimately leads to his own death and the deaths of many of his people.
Bravery beyond compare, superhuman intelligence, strength or skills and a driving desire to find success. And by leaving people honoring his death, a famous son, and the Danish royal line behind, he leaves an admirable legacy in his wake.
The poem mentions Hygelac as king of the Geats, so not much is known about the other brothers. Kings can be judged by how much wealth they possess, partially because one needs to have treasure in order to distribute treasure and also because the amount of treasure one has is a symbol of wealth and prosperity in itself.
Therefore, here we will only judge rulers based on what we specifically know about the nature of their reign from textual context. The manuscript itself is not specifically named by the scribes, and theoretically it could be named other things, including but not limited to: After Beowulf mortally wounds Grendel, Hrothgar offers him advise on being an admired ruler by using the king Heremod as a counter-example.
After defeating Grendel, Beowulf is awarded renown jewelry that were once owned by a goddess and then a king named Eormenric. Defeating Demons Anglo-Saxon epic heroes are willing to put their own lives in danger for the greater good.
And so, Heorogar has a reputation as being a better man than his younger brother Hrothgar. Monster-slaying aside because not monster-slaying cannot be held against those kings who never get the chance to prove themselves worthy of monster-slayingScyld, Offa, and Wiglaf can be judged as just as or nearly as great a king as Beowulf himself is.
There are many possible criteria by which we may judge kings, but there are a few key ways in which kings can and should behave according to Beowulf that need to be highlighted when analyzing their ranking in relation to their peers.
Inheritance, strength, wealth, generosity, and legacies are all imperative to being the best king. A legacy is what they leave behind for us to analyze, whether that be remaining wealth, stability of their nation, suitable heirs, or a lasting reputation.
Because we are partially judged by how well we treat others, Heremod is what can happen to a kingly figure when he no longer acts like one. While he has been criticized on multiple occasions throughout the generations of readers following the Beowulf manuscript due to his ineptitude as a protector of his people against Grendel, we will see that perhaps he is still better than some of his peers to come.
But Finn betrayed the inherent trust between host and guest, killing Hnaef, chief of the Danes and his own brother-in-law. His heroic qualities were courage, loyalty, wisdom, boasting, and physical strength.
While Beowulf is often acclaimed and beloved for its monsters against which the main protagonist must face three trials in order to achieve fame and glory, here we focus rather upon the relations between human figures featured in the poem. Bravery and Vulnerability Later in life, Beowulf becomes King of the Geats and is responsible for guiding his kingdom.
Lines in Section III explain his motivation: Often this hero comes by his qualities as a birthright, sometimes having links to gods or other epic heroes. And finally, a king is only as memorable as how well his legacy is remembered.
Courage allowed Beowulf to face the monsters and gave him fame throughout the llands.King Hrethel - The Geatish king who took Beowulf in as a ward after the death of Ecgtheow, Beowulf’s father. Breca - Beowulf’s childhood friend, whom he defeated in a swimming match.
Unferth alludes to the story of their contest, and Beowulf then relates it. Hrothgar is a wise and admirable king to his people, but lacks strength to physically combat his and his people's enemies, as he is an. The characteristics of a good king, according the epic poem Beowulf, parallel the characteristics honored by the Anglo Saxon culture.
Anglo Saxons looked for their heroes, and therefore kings, to be great warriors, eloquent speakers, and renowned leaders. They should be of noble ancestry.
A hero of the Geats in Sweden, Beowulf renders aid to the King of the Danes, Hrothgar. Hrothgar's mead hall has been attacked by Grendel, a powerful monster, and his mother. Beowulf heroically slays Grendel and becomes the target of his mother. Beowulf’s personal characteristics include the heroic traits of loyalty, honor, bravery, faith, and superhuman strength.
He demonstrates his sense of honor and his loyalty to Hrothgar by volunteering to kill Grendel and then Grendel’s mother. He proves his bravery by battling these two monsters and, at the end his life, the dragon.
Aug 05, · But a change happened,/he grew bloodthirsty, gave no more rings/to honor the Danes. He suffered in the end/for having plagued his people for so long:/his life lost happiness” (lines – ).
Heremod is utilized by the narrative as an example of a bad king that Beowulf should avoid becoming.Download