The Monsters In Beowulf's Three Fights

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In Beowulf's three fights with three monsters, he uses different methods and weapons which yield him different “trophies” each time; moreover, each battle emphasizes the development of Beowulf as an Anglo-Saxon hero. In the first battle with Grendel, Beowulf is displayed as the invincible hero, incapable of losing even when fighting with only his bare hands. He further fills the role in his gain of glory and reputation. In the second fight, with Grendel's mother, he is still displayed in an “epic” proportion, surviving under water for several hours, however, he cannot defeat the monster without a weapon: a sword forged by giants. Beowulf triumphs again, and again gains glory and reputation. However, in the third battle, Beowulf is portrayed…show more content…
His reasons, again, were glory and the promise of heaped-up ancient treasure (line 447). As Beowulf dove into the waters of the lake, he again boasted of his abilities by going under by himself, without consulting his fellow warriors. He leaped into the lake, would not wait for anyone's/ Answer;... (lines 467-468). This time he brought a weapon with him, though the reasons for doing so one could speculate. One reason could be he felt lacking in his abilities to defeat this monster, or that there would be no one around to see him wield a sword. The story goes on to say that Beowulf throws the sword aside further into the battle, but only after he discovers its uselessness against the monster. Most of this battle is spent in desperation for Beowulf. He starts realizing he is hardly a match for the vicious mother of Grendel, who tears at his armor and bites holes into his helmet. He is even brought to the brink of death and would have been thrown over the edge if not for the chain-mail on his chest. Beowulf only manages to defeat the monster by grabbing a heavy sword off of the wall and swings it at her with every bit of strength he could muster, catching her in the neck and killing…show more content…
After hearing of a dragon threatening his kingdom, Beowulf resolves to kill it. “I've never known fear, as a youth I fought/ In endless battles. I am old, now,/ But I will fight again, seek fame still,/ If the dragon hiding in his tower dares/ To face me,” (lines 624-628). Beowulf says that he would still use no weapon if one was not needed and that he feels no shame for using armor, a sword, and a shield in this fight, showing how much he has matured over the years. As Beowulf approaches the tower that the dragon has taken, he lets out a battle cry. This can be taken as more honorable than the surprise attack he threw against Grendel. Then, instead of “diving in” like he did at the lake, he approaches the door, shield first, cautiously, and waits for the dragon. This method again shows how Beowulf has matured from a young, glory-seeking warrior to a reliable warrior king, who seeks to protect his people (Stitt). However, Beowulf is still no match for the dragon, losing his sword quickly and being forced to stay on the defensive. With Beowulf's life at stake, a young follower of Beowulf helps him and together they slay the dragon, though Beowulf is still mortally wounded. He names the young follower the new king, and gives all of the dragon's treasure to his

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