Self Acceptance In Beowulf

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Individuals struggle with the concepts of acceptance and self worth. Feeling that they will not live up to what is expected of them, they are tormented with the ideas of who they should be and what they are not. This struggle for self acceptance is evident in many works of literature. There are numerous accounts of characters who seem to be confident, but are in actuality unsure of themselves. For example, in Beowulf, Beowulf constantly advertises his mighty prowess, but also refuses to accept human qualities such as aging. Because he boasts to make his legacy known, it appears that he comes to believe that he can achieve physical immortality. He fears that his heroic legacy will perish with him and struggles to understand that a hero such as himself can grow old and be defeated. However, as ages, he is able to accept his human qualities. In contrast to…show more content…
Indeed, though they put on a heroic front, Beowulf, Sir Gawain, and Brutus are internally broken and sensitive. Extraordinary men such as themselves suffer from the ordinary problems of self confidence and struggle to overcome their insecurities. They, like all humans, strive for perfection, but, in pursuing this perfection, fall far from it. Thus, these trials and uncertainties allow these noble heroes to relate to the common man. However, despite these setbacks, each of these three protagonists are able to use their weaknesses to their advantage. Beowulf is able to achieve the full glory and honor for which he desperately strives. Sir Gawain learns that no perfect knight exists and therefore no longer struggles to be one. Even though Brutus commits suicide, he is described by Mark Antony as the “noblest Roman of them all” because of his unrelenting dedication to his beloved Rome (Caesar 5.5.68). Thus, while these noble heroes face the challenges and insecurities like normal men, they are able to surpass their
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