Comparing Beowulf And The Wife's Lament

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In the poem, “The Wife’s Lament”, and the excerpt from the poem, “Beowulf”, the theme of anger and contempt are found in multiple examples. However, they are vastly different from one another based on the nature of their poetry. Throughout the Beowulf excerpt, The protagonist, Beowulf, and the antagonist, Unferth, share words over a swimming match the Beowulf lost to Breca. “Are you the Beowulf who competed with Breca, vied with him at swimming in the open sea… risked your lives on deep waters because of a foolish boast?” (Lines 423-427). Unferth believes that Breca is the better man and says so with anger due to the fact that he has been drinking. It is also well seen that Unferth’s feelings of anger stem toward his own jealousy of Beowulf.

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