Many people think that was beowulf a good king was not. However, I disagree and believe that was beowulf a good king was in fact a very good leader. This is because he has many qualities and characteristics of what we would call a “good” leader. For example, was beowulf a good king was loyal to his friends and family as well as those who followed him during his reign. Was beowulf also had the traits of courage, kindness, wisdom and humility which are all needed for someone to lead others with success.”
Every actor in a play, poem, or movie has a specific function to fulfill specified by the playwright or filmmaker. As a result, it is up to novelists and poets to provide characters with a variety of characteristics so that their roles may be fully realized. Readers have frequently labeled characters as Heroes, Kings, and Pessimists among others based on how they stand out in the many works.
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Poets occasionally include more than one feature in their characters, resulting in a conundrum for readers attempting to determine which characteristic or characteristics is being emphasized. Is Beowulf a good king and hero? The purpose of this essay is to answer that question. In the poem “Beowulf,” Beowulf is such a character that the reader may be unable to decide whether he qualifies as an ideal king, hero, or perhaps both or none of the above. Depending on how the terms “hero” and “king” are interpreted by the reader, this situation might arise.
According to Arnold, the word hero refers to “a person noted for accomplishments of bravery or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life” (Para.1). In addition, any leader will be seen as a suitable king depending on how well he or she manages the people he or she leads. Beowulf reveals all of the aforementioned qualities associated with both a good king and a hero throughout the paper.
Heroic Ideal in “Beowulf”
Beowulf is an excellent epic hero because he puts the safety of his people above his own. The opening of the poem confirms this when Beowulf has to journey all the way to Denmark to set the Danes free of the monster. He gives up not only his time, effort, and money but also parts of himself in order to guarantee the safety of people whom he considers to be his own. Furthermore, after spending 50 years as Geats’ king, old Beowulf understands that a dragon is terrorizing his nation.
Beowulf disregards his age to combat the dragon for the sake of his people’s safety, which he accomplishes successfully. Additionally, Beowulf has regard for his fellow men. The man, for example, despite being in the final stages of death in bed, desires to see the Geats secure their safety and hence give purpose to the high lighthouse that purposefully assists them in finding their way back from the sea. Personal excellence is an indication of ideal bravery.
Many stories describe Beowulf attempting to accomplish this goal. For example, Hrothgar, the king of Denmark, sets up a loud drinking session that results in tragedy for the Danes when Grendel, the monster, is disturbed. None has been able to resolve the issue; therefore, as young as he is, Beowulf thinks he can fight and vanquish the demon to achieve renown and glory (“Beowulf” Lines 392-393).
Gerhard concludes his explanation of Beowulf by emphasizing the hero’s necessity. “Beowulf is a Geatish hero who fights monsters, kills dragons, and is said to be the strongest and smartest warrior around,” he notes (para. 1). His inexplicable bravery is another example that shows him as an excellent hero.
Even after learning that the Danes have been attacked by a demon, he goes out to combat it with his fellow men. The victor’s decision doesn’t concern him much. As a result, it makes no difference to him whether he loses, wins, or dies. He has the resolve to confront the ghost at any cost, thus this is what a perfect hero looks like.
In ancient Germanic literature, Beowulf is often referred to as an ideal hero based on his great physical strength. “The power of my body” (“Beowulf” Line 786). His encounter with the ghost is only one among many battles he has engaged in. He wins all but the last of them due to his amazing physical might. The leader’s reaction as he gathers his men to go into battle depicts him as a hero, since they willingly follow him because they know he must win the fight. Furthermore, his method of murdering the monster qualifies him as a great hero.
He employs no weapons, instead relying on his bare hands. In fact, he kills it by ripping off his hands. Furthermore, after Grendel’s mother is slain, Beowulf engages with the mother who seeks revenge for her kid’s death and wounds her using a huge sword that can only be lifted by physically strong men like him.
It’s no surprise that the monster’s head is too heavy for four men to carry, yet Beowulf lifts it and carries it like a light burden, implying that he is an excellent hero. His lack of fear of death is another element that qualifies him as a great hero. Before going to war, Beowulf considers his death wishes. For example, if the end comes in combat, he wants his possessions given to his people. “And if I am slain, return my inherited mail and inheritance to Higlac.”
I got from Hrethel and Wayland. Fate has to unwind, as it must, in the end (Garnett 18). He understands the paradox of tragic heroes who need glory for their life or death based on their actions. That is not a concern to him in any case. On his journey to war, he promises that he will either achieve or perish for his people in every fight with a difficult situation (Arnold Para. 10). He recognizes two possible endings when confronted with a difficult circumstance during his journey: devastation or good fortune.
Is Beowulf a Good King?
Beowulf is a great king as well as an excellent hero. A perfect king is expected to safeguard the well-being of his subjects. Beowulf’s efforts to complete this responsibility from youth through old age are all demonstrated in the poem. “His ideal kingship was obvious by his outstanding fighting abilities as a warrior, perseverance, leadership, loyalty, and generosity,” according to Gerhard (Para. 6).
Many honors were bestowed upon the king during his reign, which explains why he was a monarch for half a century. The poem shows him as a warrior based on his courageous exploits in defending the Danes from the monster menace. “Now, Holy God has graciously guided him here to the West-Danes to defend us from Grendel,” Para 5). The reader will praise him as an excellent ruler after witnessing his incredible fighting skills.
Despite the fact that the author’s identity is hidden, the reader comes to realize Beowulf’s power as a result of his struggle with the monster. In fact, he claims to be just as dangerous as the demon himself. Furthermore, Anglo-Saxon culture was significantly influenced by imperial munificence. Based on his apparent contributions for his nation, Beowulf, a member, stands out as extraordinarily kind.
Beowulf has a reputation for bravery. He is the one who advises king Hrothgar on how to fight Grendel, and he is respected by him. When kings approach their retirement years, they become preoccupied with matters that only concern them, rather than those of others. However, Beowulf isn’t like that at all. He cares about his people so much that he wishes to be certain that the Danes were safe before taking his own life. As a result, Beowulf as king is an important character.
The paper looked at Beowulf and determined whether he is a good hero and king or not. The poem portrays Beowulf as both a great king and a fantastic hero. He meets all of the requirements for great heroes and kings. For example, like an excellent hero, Beowulf participates in fights; however, unlike other people before him, he refuses to back down from one. He has the courage to confront and battle a monster that has beaten all of his fellow countrymen because they were afraid of it.
Beowulf is fearless and unshakable in his convictions. He has no fear of death or of anything else, and he is convinced that he will be judged favorably. He also has an incredible physical strength, which allows him to haul a weight that four men can’t handle. Beowulf acts as an excellent king because he is always thinking about the well-being of his people. Even after retiring due to old age, he continues to help his people by sacrificing for them even after death. Despite its unknown origin, the poem gets a thumbs up as a informative work because it depicts Beowulf both as an ideal ruler and a hero.
Some readers of Beowulf may find it hard to distinguish the ‘good’ kings from the others – indeed, almost every king in the poem is referred to as such at least once. By looking at the ideals of the period as outlined by the ‘heroic code,’ it becomes easier to see that a genuinely ‘good’ king is one who gives treasure and weapons to deserving followers so they may commemorate bravery and strength on display in battle and encourage defense of the realm (Intro).
The courageous and powerful qualities for which he had been so highly admired as a warrior do not serve Beowulf well when he takes the throne of the Geats. Hrothgar’s goals are sociocentric: by using “the strength of many people” (76) to construct Heorot’s legendary hall, he unites his people and leaves them a legacy that guarantees Denmark’s future.
Beowulf’s greatest flaw is his failure to bring his people under his rule. He is called a “ring-giver” (2635), like Hrothgar, but because Beowulf himself is “too proud/to line up with a large army” (2345-46) and takes on the title of sole “protector,” he refuses to let his thanes demonstrate their valor and strength in combat. The worth of any treasure isn’t measured in gold; it’s measured by the deeds done to obtain it.
In other words, only things acquired are valuable, and endowing gifts to undeserving people is comparable to the thief stealing the “gem-studded goblet” from the dragon’s hoard: “he gained him nothing” (2217). Beowulf never recognizes this as king. As he lies on his deathbed, gazing at the dragon’s treasure hoard, he praises God for having been permitted to leave [his] people/ so well endowed on the day [he] died(3797-98) . The reader understands that his people are left without anything.
Noble fighters and rulers in Beowulf demonstrated their valor by dying for those they loved. King Beowulf of the Geats, as well as Jesus, king of the Jews, recognized the significance of giving up their lives for their people. Good kings have a duty to always put the needs of his subjects before anything else by promising to do everything possible to safeguard them and showing that they are mortal by being prepared to fight and die with them.
Beowulf was a steadfast and courageous king who always cared about the well-being of his subjects, just as Jesus did for the Jews. Because he put his people first at all times, Beowulf may be regarded as a decent king, even though some bad outcomes did not go in the people’s favor. Throughout all of his victories and honors, Beowulf demonstrated great integrity.
The protagonist in Beowulf has an extremely modest background, but he is able to overcome immense odds. He endured noble acts of bravery based on his own moral convictions and never expected praise or gifts in return. Despite this, the populace bestowed upon him a “gold-chased heirloom of Hrethel’s…and then rewarded him with land as well, seven thousand hides, and a hall and a throne” (Beowulf 149). When Beowulf decided to defend his people from the dragon, he did not consider any material benefits; all he cared about was protecting many people’s innocent lives. In combat, Beowulf gained strength knowing that he was fighting for a just cause.
Beowulf is the story of a young prince and an elderly king who demonstrate bravery, nobility, and heroism. Both as a young prince and an elder king, Beowulf exemplifies each of these qualities. These characteristics allow him to attain a prestigious reign as well as his death. His endeavors should be analyzed in the light of previous kings’ examples. Clearly, every future king strives to gain enough authority so that they may rule in their latter years. When Beowulf sets out to kill Grendel, the monster that has been keeping his soldiers from returning home, he achieves respect for the first time.
Beowulf arrives in Herot and boasts of his past accomplishments to improve his reputation among Hrothgar and his warriors. In my youth, I have undertaken many daring actions. I had bound five, slew a family of giants at night on the waves, suffered intense agony, avenged an affliction on the Weater-Geats who requested for trouble by grinding bad guys to atoms. And now that I am alone, I will settle things with Grendel, the monster, the devil himself.
Despite doing as he had promised, Beowulf has yet to complete his tasks. The next day, he is confronted with another challenge: killing Grendel’s furious mother. When asked to do this duty, Beowulf accepts it eagerly , seeing it as another opportunity to gain glory, “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 triumphs in his fight with the beast and increases his popularity among his people. Any young or old prince is expected to perform these brave and courageous actions.
Beowulf’s brave encounters with these monsters demonstrate to his king and ollowers that he is ready to take on the responsibilities of a fearless leader. His capacity to command, however, goes beyond those accomplishments in combat. Beowulf was rewarded with gold and riches for his outstanding exploits in killing the monsters. This is where his moral character becomes apparent. While Beowulf had every opportunity to keep them all for himself, he instead gave his gifts to King Higlac; as he was directed to do. Beowulf also turned down his initial offering at the throne.
If you had to choose one of the most famous names in fantasy literature, it would have to be Beowulf. What makes him so special? He is what he pretends to be; he is a hero who fights monsters and wins against impossible odds. His sense of morality and loyalty to Higlac leads him to believe that his son should take the throne before him. Young royalty should carefully follow these decent actions. When Beowulf takes on the role of King of the Geats, he does not alter as a person or warrior. Once again, Beowulf is alerted to another monster, this time in his own territory. Even at age 67, Beowulf vows to combat this dragon alone. However, this war would not be fought for his own glory, but rather to protect his people. Beowulf attacks the dragon as he has done many times before in an attempt to win.
However, he soon discovers that his power and protection are insufficient against the fire-breathing dragon. Beowulf lies dying on the ground as the battle comes to an end, with only one man left to defend him. Despite the fact that the dragon was destroyed, the Geats lost their valiant king. He sacrificed his life defending his nation and people, just as any excellent leader should. Beowulf’s error was to allow his pride get the best of him, as he attempted to attack the dragon alone. This is particularly clear for a young prince to observe. While bravery and valor are required, a king’s son must understand his own capabilities in order to succeed.
What are the characteristics that distinguish a great warrior and king? This is one of the major themes in Beowulf and other Anglo-Saxon writings. There are several instances of what makes a good and bad warrior, as well as a good and poor king, but these two occupations may appear similar.
Beowulf is the main character of Beowulf, an epic poem from Old English literature. Beowulf begins his life as a slave and neglect until he achieves maturity and becomes a warrior able to defend himself. Soon, Beowulf is called upon by Hrothgar to assist the Geats as a warrior, where he fights off Grendel and his mother before battling Grendel’s dragon. After Hrothgar dies, Beowulf continues his adventures alongside Heorogar’s illegitimate son Hygelac.
“But first and foremost, a man must defend his king. “I’d rather dress my body in the same burning flame as my gold-giver’s than go home carrying weapons. That is unthinkable unless we’ve slain the enemy and protected the life of the weather-geat’s prince.” It demonstrates how much the thanes were prepared to put on the line for their kings/princes when Wiglaf utters these words in Beowulf.
There are several characteristics of being a warrior that are more nuanced than simply being physically fit. Having a way with words, for example, is one of them. Warriors must be able to boast about their past accomplishments in order to be regarded highly and reassure the member of their clan that they are in good hands. Slackers would be cowardly and refuse any opportunity, bragging about things they say they will do because they have not actually accomplished anything remarkable.
The Anglo-Saxon culture, which is more commonly known as “Anglo-Saxon England,” was founded on Christianity and had a great impact on Western European history. The other part of this culture, which is just as essential, is the role of king. A good king has both brains and eloquence. A decent ruler also rewards those who fight for him but pays them well. For the negative traits of a bad king, Heremod is an excellent case study. Being wise and experienced in leadership are two important features of a great king. While Beowulf may have fought before, he has never served as a warrior or even an advisor to a king.
“Yet the king of the rings was too proud to stand in line with a huge host against the sky-plague” (Beowulf 2345-2346). This passage from the poem captures Beowulf’s lack of experience. Any competent ruler would have realized that gathering many individuals to fight a dragon is an excellent idea, but due to his inexperience, Beowulf only gathered a few people to face it.
Another cause for Beowulf’s failure as a king and his poor performance was that he was still too eager for fame. Another aspect of being a good king is allowing the soldiers to fight and dueling them later. Even when Beowulf became king, he never stopped seeing himself as a warrior, which ultimately led to his death.