Hrothgar's Long Speech To Beowulf

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This third comparison will focus on the most famous passage of the poem, which is the culmination of a Hrothgar’s long speech to Beowulf. The main themes are the importance of strength and pride in life, the fragility of life and for the first time, Beowulf is seen here as a human warrior and not for his heroic and divine deeds (lines 1758-1768 in Heaney’s, 1476-1484 in Tolkien’s).
1. Hrothgar’s warning on the fragility of life: contextualization
With this passage, the reader is in the middle of the poem: Beowulf has just defeated Grendel’s mother and has become what he always wanted to be, namely a Knight in shining armour. It is a golden time for the protagonist, but someone warns him against pride and vainglory and this someone is Hrothgar,
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Beowulf is actually an orphan, so he might be destined not to find his place in this society. However, thanks to his courage and good will, he is almost “adopted” by Hrothgar, who trusts him simply because he trusted his father. This is the reason for his “open-hearted sermon” to Beowulf.
3. Hrothgar’s warning on the fragility of life: hubris is Beowulf’s flaw
For the first time in the poem, Beowulf is not only presented for his qualities, but also for his flaws. As written above, Beowulf is so proud and arrogant that these characteristics will lead him to downfall. It is said in fact, that his main flaw was excessive hubris, which like all kinds of excess can be compared to a vice. Moreover, if the poem is read from a Christian point of view, pride is the worst enemy of man. Hrothgar knows that and for this reason, he warns Beowulf, but at the end, the “divine” hero complicates his life with his own hands with something that only ordinary people have, and namely flaws and
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