Different cultures around the world admire and appreciate certain traits or characteristics of a person to make them ideal. In the story of Beowulf, which narrates the heroics of a Scandinavian warrior, we grasp some traits that where appreciated by the Scandinavian culture. As a youth, he achieved his popularity in foreign lands by defeating evil monsters such as Grendal and Grendal's Mother. After these fights, he was offered treasures and kingdoms to rule, but refused to accept the kingdoms and remained loyal to his king, Hygelac. After the death of his beloved King, he ruled with the main purpose to care for his people. Then, after half a century of rule in his country, he fought a dragon that was angered by a warrior who stole some treasures from his lair. During this fight, while Beowulf received a wound that lead to his death. We consider Beowulf to have the traits of a Scandinavian hero because he exhibits the following traits: Physically Strong, Loyalty and Popularity.
A Scandinavian trait that was well recognized was being a physically strong person. Beowulf demonstrates that being strong is his most notable trait. As seafarers used to say, I remember, who took the gifts of the Geat people in token of our friendship- that in his hand's grasps had the strength of other thirty men. (p. 63). Not only did he have this rare gift, but used it all the time to protect his people. During the fight between Beowulf and Grendal, he decided to make the fight fair by not using a sword since Grendal was a terrible sword player, therefore Beowulf wrestled to monster to death. (p64-64) The final example ________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ Although Beowulf was strong he served his king in the most loyal way a warrior could. He was offered lands and treasures for himself, but denied every offering. Instead he accepted the gifts to take to his king Hygelac. " Convey also the gifts that you have granted to me, my beloved Hrothgar, to my lord Hygelac. (p 98) He was also well treated everywhere he went, but insisted upon returning to his King. "We now wish to say, who are come from far, how keenly we desire to return again to Hygelac. (p 108) He often referred to his king as a Shepherd of his people and remained loyal to the kings' death, when he inherited the thrown.(p 120) The final trait of Beowulf, which I consider to be important is his popularity. We saw his popularity brilliance since the minute he arrived to Hrothgar he was recognized by the guardian of Scyldings which he stated "I knew him as a child" (p 62). Later, after the fight with Grendal, in Hrothgar's congratulations speech to Beowulf he states "Beowulf, my friend, your name shall resound in the nations of the earth that are furthest away". (p 104-105) Nevertheless his popularity grew in his native land. Upon his return to the land of Geats he was well known for his combats and his courage in actions. (p.119) Now we know that well after his death his popularity remained and continued to grow.