Bravery In Beowulf

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The epic poem, “Beowulf” has no known author since it originated in oral tradition. It does, however, serve as a representation of the Anglo-Saxon culture it originates from. The characters in “Beowulf” illustrates many of the important morals of its time: bravery, honor Beowulf, the hero of the poem, displays great bravery in everything he does. For example, before battling with Grendel, he “took off the helmet and handed his attendant the patterned sword” (672-673). He explains that to use a weapon in his battle with Grendel would be too easy. Then Beowulf boasts that “when it comes to fighting, I count myself as dangerous any day as Grendel” (677-678). Their literal hand to hand combat is epic, and Beowulf wins by tearing Grendel’s arm.…show more content…
Beowulf throws away his armor and sword before leaving for his fight with Grendel explaining that his foe “has no idea the arts of war, or shield or swordplay” (681-682). Therefore, Beowulf decides that there will be “no weapons, for either this night” (683-684). According to the morals of that time, a kill does not bring contentment unless it is fair. Grendel, the villain of the poem, demonstrates a lack of honor when the epic states, ‘he grabbed thirty men from their resting places” (122-123). Grendel’s action of attacking the men in their sleep, when they are unable to defend themselves, demonstrates how morally inferior he is to the honorable Beowulf. Later on, Wigaf also shows honor on his own way, when he refuses to withdraw in battle saying, “a warrior will sooner dies than live a life of shame” (2890-2891). Again, in accordance to the morals of that time, retreating from battle would be shameful and dishonorable, which is not acceptable to an honorable man like Wiglaf. However, many of his fellow soldiers did just that. He points out their lack of honor at Beowulf’s funeral by saying “I would rather my body were robbed in the same burning blaze as my gold-giver’s body than go back home bearing arms” (2651-2653). Here, Wiglaf proves himself to be the better man because he has his honor whilst the others do not, who willingly deserted Beowulf, their king, in

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