Excessive Pride In Beowulf

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Furthermore, Beowulf’s death and the downfall of his people highlight the destruction caused by excessive pride. After defeating Grendel and his mother, Beowulf , the warrior, earns a name for himself and eventually rules as the warrior king of the Geats for 50 years. Yet at the end of the poem, Beowulf, similarly to Grendel, lets his insatiable greed consume him. His self-centered desire to gain and maintain fame and glory overrides his duties as a leader of his people, the Geats, and causes him to become irrational. He irrationally decides to battle with the dragon that was causing mayhem in his kingdom alone. This is evident when the speaker describes Beowulf’s decision to face the dragon alone by stating that, “the prince of rings was too proud,/ to…show more content…
This is a consequence of his greed and illogical behavior as is evident when the speaker describes the happenings of Beowulf’s funeral and foreshadows the downfall of the Geats by saying that, “a Geat woman too sang out in grief;/ with hair bound up, a wild litany/ of nightmare and lament; her nation invaded, /enemies on the rampage, bodies in piles, / slavery and abasement” (3150- 3155). The usage of the words “bodies in piles” and “enemies on rampage” paints a grim picture of the Geats’ downfall. The sound imagery used in the lines “a wild litany of nightmare and lament” indicate immense despair and chaos. Thus, if Beowulf would not have succumbed to his greed for glory and was still alive, his people would not have been left defenseless to deal with eventual “slavery and abasement”. Thus, Beowulf’s fate serves as a warning to the Anglo- Saxon warrior against excessive indulgence in pride and greed. Even though, he serves his homeland well for 50 years by maintaining peace, his desire for glory and fame override his duties as a leader at the end of his

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