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Abandonment Of Beowulf Essay Research Paper

Abandonment Of Beowulf Essay, Research Paper

Justification for the Abandonment and Solitude of Beowulf

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Beowulf is the classic tale of a mighty and heroic Geat leader who comes to an

unpleasant and seemingly early end. Throughout his life, Beowulf had been an excellent

leader and had led his army to many victories over many foes, of his land and of many others

as well. At his peak, Beowulf was the mightiest warrior on all the earth: ?There was no one

else like him alive. In his day, he was the mightiest man on earth, high-born and powerful.?

(297-298). Eventually, Beowulf would come to be ruler over many people. During this time

he would defeat many enemies, two of which being Grendel and his mother. After their

defeat, Beowulf and his people experienced a time of peace and prosperity which was

enjoyed by all.

He remained undefeated until the bitter end when he was defeated by the dragon in the

underwater hell-like grave. Beowulf?s death marked the end of not only his reign, but also of

the safety know by his people, and also the end of his kingdom. The reasons for his

abandonment of his people and his insistence to fight alone are not clear, although many

have theories as to why the great warrior chose the fate he did. The first topic at hand is why

Beowulf chose to fight by himself, especially in the case of the dragon.

Beowulf was a very valiant warrior who fought his greatest battles alone, or at least

single-handedly. First of all, his battle against Grendel was brilliantly maneuvered in that he

awakened from a complete slumber to slay the mighty Grendel and mutilate his body.

Secondly, Beowulf battled against Grendel?s mother (who was excessively disturbed about the

death of her beloved son) and won a triumphant battle. In both battles, Beowulf won by his

own means and was very victorious in each occasion. The question could be raised as to why

he chose to fight alone as opposed to having many skilled warriors to help him in his plight

to defeat the evil in the world. One possible theory is that it is much more valiant to be the

victor of a battle which you yourself have fought and won. This way, there is only one person

who is capable of receiving credit for the battle which could help in later times as to the

correctness of the tale. Perhaps Beowulf did not wish for people to wonder as to who the

true hero was, so he simply resolved the issue by fighting alone. Also, if a battle is fought and

won by a single person, they are automatically more glorified than if a whole army was to

have won. This may be because it is simply easier to maintain records of one person as

opposed to a whole army or group of people. The winner in this case is able to receive all

the glory which is due them and not have to worry about someone horning in on their

moment of well-earned fame. By being more glorious and not having to share their fame, a

leader?s position of authority (whatever it may be) is less likely to be challenged than if many

people were involved in the victory. In this case, the leader receives a little more cushing in

their position, which is generally a very positive thing for any ruler to experience. After all,

no one would like to be overthrown because of their weakness and inability to perform under

pressure in a battle.

Now the question as to why Beowulf abandoned his people is at hand. He most likely

did not do this on purpose and had no intent to destroy his kingdom which he had worked so

hard to create. A possible theory as to why this happened could be that he simply did not

think about the void he would leave if he was to leave his throne for some reason. One point

that must be observed here is that Beowulf had to blood relatives which could succeed him

on the throne, so he would of had to hand picked one of his subjects to follow after him, and

only hope that his choice of leadership would not be undermined by those who wished to be

rulers but in reality were not capable of a leadership position which involved so much

responsibility and integrity. Of course, there is also the possibility that Beowulf was aware

that if he died his kingdom would crumble, so he did the valiant thing and ended the

kingdom at the same time its king ended. This way, the kingdom would have a rather subtle

end instead of a violent one in which many people fought over the rights to the kingdom.

This also prevented corruption of the kingdom and the throne by the rulership of a bad or

unjust king.

There remains only one question now, which is Beowulf?s reasoning for fighting the

dragon alone. Surely he was aware of the dangers involved with fighting a ferocious creature

that late in his life, especially when one considers that Beowulf was not only aging, but also

that he was fighting on uncommon ground and all the odds were against him. Perhaps he did

this because he wanted to prove to his people that he was still a mighty and heroic leader,

even though it put him in a compromising situation. If he did not go to battle, then he would

be viewed as a weakening and a fallen king by his people, but then again, if he did fight, but

lost he would not be any better off than if he were to not fight at all. The most he could

hope for would either be victory or death if he chose to fight. And, withe being the heroic

warrior he was, and with wanting to protect his people from harm, he decided to fight

against the dragon in his underwater hell-like lair. Maybe Beowulf wished to be extra

victorious in his waning years by defeat the great dragon alone, or he may have realized that

a good way to live on (in spirit) among his people would be to exit the world in a heroic

battle. Regardless of victory of defeat, Beowulf would be honored for being a victorious and

heroic warrior and a good leader for his people. In a way, Beowulf ended his reign at a peak,

even though he had already experienced many high points along the way. One can theorize

all they would like, but the only person to really know the motives of Beowulf is Beowulf, and

since there is no way of truly finding out, the only thing left to do is to guess the best we can

and hope that possible somebody somewhere will create a believable theory which all people

can believe and end the wondering. Until then, all are free to wonder and theorize and

attempt to make sense of all the wonderment and complexities of the allusive Beowulf.


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