Beowulf : Outstanding King Beowulf

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 9 times

The poem Beowulf is an excellent example of an epic; "it is a long verse narrative on a serious subject, told in a formal and elevated style, and centred on a heroic or quasi-divine figure on whose actions depends the fate of a tribe, a nation, or the human race" (Abrams 76). When Beowulf is introduced in the story, he is not yet king as are Hrothgar and Hygelac. He is nephew to Hygelac and his most beloved warrior. Long after Hrothgar's decease and shortly after Hygelac's death, Beowulf becomes King of the Geats. The two kings of old and later the old King Beowulf have qualities in common. The three kings are all good, generous and kind. However, there are also dissimilarities among the three renowned kings. Hrothgar's descent is different than that of Hygelac and Beowulf, which makes Beowulf a valiant man for aiding Hrothgar. Beowulf is the ultimate hero in the poem; he is unbeatable in the strength of his youth.

The manners in which the three kings expire are diverse and even in death Beowulf serves a purpose. Therefore, there are pivotal differences that distinguish Beowulf from Hygelac and Hrothgar.

Regardless of the difference of ancestry between Beowulf and Hrothgar, Beowulf shows audacity when helping Hrothgar in his hour of need. Hrothgar descends from the Danes while both Hygelac and Beowulf are from the line of the Geats. When Beowulf hears of the horrors of Heorot, he does not hesitate to leave Geatland and rid the Danes of the alleged terror that haunts it. He willingly risks his own life for another race of people: When he heard about Grendel, Hygelac's thane was on home ground, over in Geatland.

There was no one else like him alive.

In his day, he was the...