Loyalty In Beowulf

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In a time of oral teachings and story telling, the Anglo-Saxon’s marveled about the interactions between heroes and monsters. Beowulf experiences exponentially more difficult encounters with dangerous brutes, while not realizing that his obligated allies are slowly deserting him as the threat grows. Although one would expect loyal soldiers to fight to the death for whom they pledged their allegiance, the inverse is apparent. In “Beowulf” the writer uses a succession of ever more powerful enemies to illustrate that true loyalty and reverence for an individual is only revealed during an apparent insurmountable challenge. Preparing for his first challenge, Beowulf gathers fourteen of his best men to spend the night with the Danes within the walls of Herot. Grendel, who would normally be a challenge for a mere person, is only the first and easiest opponent for Beowulf. Knowing that victory is imminent and definite, “All of Beowulf’s band had jumped from their beds, ancestral swords raised and ready, determined to protect their price if they could”…show more content…
Standing on the edge of the lake after Beowulf charges into battle, the Danes and the Geats watch as blood rises to the surface of the lake. Not knowing who was potentially killed or who is possibly injured, “The Danes gave up, left the lake and went home. Hrothgar with them. The Geats stayed, sat sadly, watching, imagining they saw their lord but not believing they would ever see him again” (161-165). Instead of showing reverence for the hero who has come to save them, the Danes leave. While one would expect supporters to do everything in their power to avenge or assist the protagonist, this help never comes. Moreover, the fellow Geats, also warriors who have prepared for battle, simply sit by the lakeside and do nothing. Whether scared or depressed, the true colors of the cowards are

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