Posted: May 18th, 2021
Read the quotation below. Beowulf is speaking to Hrothgar upon Beowulf’s arrival at Heorot.
“Greetings to Hrothgar. I am Hygelac’s kinsman,
One of his hall-troop. When I was younger,
I had great triumphs. Then news of Grendel,
Hard to ignore, reached me at home: 410 Sailors brought stories of the plight you suffer
In this legendary hall, how it lies deserted,
Empty and useless once the evening light
Hides itself under Heaven’s dome.
So every elder and experience councilman
Among my people supported my resolve
To come here to you, King Hrothgar,
Because all knew of my awesome strength.
They had seen me boltered in the blood of enemies When I battled and bound five beasts, 420 Raided a troll-nest and in the night-sea
Slaughtered sea-brutes. I have suffered extremes And avenged the Geats (their enemies brought it Upon themselves, I devastated them).
Now I mean to be a match for Grendel,
Settle the outcome in a single combat.
And so, my request, O king of Bright-Danes,
Dear prince pf the Shieldings, friend of the people
And their ring of defense, my one request
Is that you won’t refuse me, who have come this far, 430 The privilege of purifying Heorot,
With my own men to help me, and nobody else.
I have heard moreover that the monster scorns
In his reckless way to use weapons;
Therefore, to heighten Hygelac’s fame
And gladden his heart, I hereby renounce
Sword and the shelter of the broad shield,
The heavy war-board: hand-to-hand
Is how it will be, a life-and-death
Fight with the fiend.
Write 250 – 400 words on how this speech by Beowulf reflects what heroic values he embodies.
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