Examples Of Cowardice And Bravery In Beowulf

Good Essays
Jakob Rosdol Mrs. Schroeder English IV Honors December 13, 2017 Cowardice and Bravery Cowardice and bravery; two emotions greatly explored in Beowulf, especially towards the end. Throughout Beowulf, the text makes a point to prove Beowulf the best of all men on Earth at the time. There exists no greater force for good and all holiness than Beowulf of the Geats. Because Beowulf exists as a shining light of all things Holy, he, by definition, takes up the best qualities of mankind and exhibits them throughout the story, chief amongst these qualities being bravery. No cowardice exists throughout the first chronicle of Beowulf. The evacuation and subsequent abandonment of Herot does not make the Danes cowardly; no, had the Danes stayed in Herot,…show more content…
Herot was unsafe and nobody was capable of slaying the monster Grendel. There is a difference between fear and outright cowardice. When Beowulf, the cousin of Higlac, arrives to speak with Hrothgar, King of the Danes, he shows nothing but bravery; it takes bravery to march straight to the king with a request, and it takes even more bravery to have that request be a permit to slaughter the monster terrorizing the land. Beowulf is presented again as the best man on Earth and the bravest one of all. He is so unafraid that he does not even fight with weapons of any kind. Beowulf is so sure that this is his destiny and he puts his trust in God to determine the victor of the battle. On page 38 on line 174, Beowulf specifically says “God must decide who will be given to death’s cold grip.” Most men would not put their faith in God in that instance if they had a choice. It should be noted that this is NOT hubris or overconfidence. Beowulf’s request to fight…show more content…
Instead of waiting for Grendel’s mother to return to Herot and kill again for her son, Beowulf takes the fight straight to her. He and his men navigate the swamps and marshes that house the deadliest creatures in the land, and Beowulf does not feel one bit of fear. It should be noted that Grendel’s mother is much more brave than her son; even when she has much more to lose (on page 47 line 455 it is said that Grendel’s mother ruled the lake for half a hundred years), she goes to avenge her son and willingly fights Beowulf, whereas Grendel tried to run away. She comes far closer to killing Beowulf than Grendel ever did, as well. Beowulf dives headfirst into the lake, ignoring the shadowy sea monsters and beasts and through sheer willpower alone overcomes the
Get Access