Importance Of Boasting In Beowulf

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The epic poem Beowulf presents insights into the importance of boasting in Anglo-Saxon culture. On the eve of Beowulf's battle with Grendel, he has a scuffle with Unferth. Beowulf ends up using a notable skill, boasting, an important mechanism to assert prowess and triumphs. They can serve as a certification of reputation, bravery, and power, all values of Anglo-Saxon society. The exchange between Unferth and Beowulf exhibit the value of boasting in a society that values the truth.
To understand the true meaning of the exchange, it is important to show where in the narrative it came from. Beowulf has just come from boasting to Hrothgar, the king of the danes, so he can get the king's approval to fight Grendel. He uses humility and his history of being a hero to win over Hrothgar. Hrothgar invites Beowulf to enjoy a feast with the danes. During the feast, a Dane …show more content…

Beowulf tells Unferth that his misrepresentation and ‘quick tongue’ “Won’t help your [Unferth] soul; you’ll suffer hell’s fires(589), linking Unferth’s lying of what Beowulf did with christian sin. Another form christianity leaked into Beowulf is when Beowulf retaliates against Unferth and states that Unferth killed his brother. In terms of christianity, Unferth commits a mortal sin, which is the highest degree of sinning when he breaks one of the ten commandments.
Christianity is shown through the poets writing, especially in the scene with Unferth and Beowulf. The exchange with Unferth reveals the importance of heroic deeds, and the need to defend oneself against attacks on these deeds. Despite its fanciful content, the text of Beowulf provides important insights into the priorities of Anglo-Saxon culture and establishes boasting through the character Unferth as essential aspect of a society’s

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