Published: 2021-07-01 08:18:35
essay essay

Category: Beowulf, Grendel

Type of paper: Essay

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As the Mighty Fall In Hrothgar’s speech to Beowulf, Hrothgar gives Beowulf a warning meant to be words of wisdom, so Beowulf will not overestimate his mortality. Hrothgar was once a mighty and fierce warrior, who himself fought many battles and defended his land, but the one foe he could never defeat was time. Age seems to be every great warrior’s downfall. As Hrothgar states “for a brief while your strength is in bloom but it fades quickly” (1762-1762).
This passage means while you are young you feel invincible, but as you age you become slower and weaker and you wake up one day to find you are, in fact, mortal. Beowulf sees himself as immortal and takes unnecessary risks due to his lack of acceptance of his mortality. Hrothgar uses his speech to thank Beowulf for killing Grendel and Grendel’s mother but also to warn him that strength can be a weakness. The following analysis and quotes will contribute to the understanding that in the end, youth will fade.
It can be your weakness in the long run by making you prideful; however in the end, mental strength and wisdom are stronger than physical strength. Hrothgar tries to make Beowulf understand what he is saying by using his own life as a comparison, “just so I ruled the Ring-Danes country for fifty years,/ assaults by many tribes” (1762-1772). Hrothgar tells Beowulf of how strong and mighty he was and how he protected his land for a long time from many enemies. This quote is important because it serves to use as a comparison between Beowulf and Hrothgar.

Hrothgar was once mighty and strong like Beowulf, but as time went on, he grew old. When Grendel and his mother came, Hrothgar was unable to defend his people. Beowulf is mighty and strong now, but Hrothgar warns him that this will not last forever. The king also tries to tell Beowulf to choose the eternal rewards and not to give way to pride, to “beware the trap” (1758). In this quote Hrothgar uses the metaphor “trap” to say pride is a trap. Pride, in this novel, is the downfall of Beowulf.
Pride causes men to take unnecessary risks and therefore traps them in a false sense of security, causing their inevitable demise. Beowulf has pride in his physical accomplishments, but this is fleeting and will eventually be his own trap causing his death. This speech ties in well with the rest of the poem. Beowulf has physical satisfaction but lacks the spiritual satisfaction gained, not from fighting or defending, but by finding inner meaning. Physical strength is shown to fade throughout the entire poem as well as pride being a weakness.
Beowulf’s pride causes him to try and kill a dragon not fully protected and Hrothgar shows us that physical strength does not last forever. This epic and speech has shown us that youth will fade, it can be your weakness in the long run by making you prideful, and in the end mental strength and wisdom are stronger than physical strength. Works Cited Greenblatt, Stephen, and M. H. Abrams. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton &, 2012. 1758-1754. Print. Reasons for Revision
In this paper I did not read the prompt well enough causing a lot of formatting errors. I also did not explain my quotes enough and what they mean. I changed all of this and hopefully was able to get my formatting right by using double spacing, commas and citing my works correctly. For analysis I explained my quotes and how they tie into the rest of the epic. I went further in depth of my analysis of the speech made by Hrothgar and explained what the quotes mean more than what happened. The next paper prompt will be followed more thoroughly.

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