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Code of loyalty described in beowulf essay

Excerpt from Term Paper: Ina word, Beowulf is a hero that can be described with one word - loyal. Beowulf is nothing if he is not loyal. This is a significant trait and one that every warrior or hero must possess. We know that a hero must not only be loyal to oneself, but also to one's personal belief and one's country and one's belief to be a good warrior. Loyalty appears in the poem in many different ways, with one being how the other characters in the poem relate to Beowulf. For example, Hrothgar demonstrates his loyalty to Beowulf with promises of a "rich treasure" 385 for his good deeds.

This scene is interesting in that we see that loyalty is a two-way street. On the one hand, Beowulf is demonstrating his loyalty to his code of ethics by offering Hrothgar his assistance because his father, Hrethel, owed Hrothgar a favor.

Beowulf arrives "to follow up an old friendship" 376.

Code of loyalty described in beowulf essay

On the other hand, Hrothgar repays Beowulf for his loyalty with treasures. Hrothgar tells his people that for his heroismhe will "recompense him with a rich treasure" 387.

Here we see how both men recognize societal codes and honor them even thought they have never met each other.

  1. In particular, we see the idea of loyalty touched on primarily in the loyalty of warriors to their lord. As God is my witness, would rather my body were robed in the same burning blaze as my gold-giver's body than go back home bearing arms.
  2. We see Halfdane's son reward Beowulf with a grand feast where he gives him gifts of gold, which are "standard as a victory gift" 1020 along with a banner, a helmet, and a sword that are "tokens of honour" 1023. Later in the story, Wealhtheow awards Beowulf with a torque and a mail.
  3. Likewise, when Wiglaf shows loyalty by aiding Beowulf in his fight against the dragon, Beowulf rewards the young warrior with a collar of gold to show his gratitude. Beowulf is nothing if he is not loyal.

We see another example of loyalty when Unferth lends his sword, Hrunting, to Beowulf. This scene is significant because Unferth did not always think highly of Beowulf. Over time, Unferth comes to understand the hero in Beowulf and, as a result, respects him a great deal.

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His offering is a demonstration of loyalty declaring that he believes in Beowulf and supports him. These are not the only cases in which Beowulf is rewarded for his loyalty. We see Halfdane's son reward Beowulf with a grand feast where he gives him gifts of gold, which are "standard as a victory gift" 1020 along with a banner, a helmet, and a sword that are "tokens of honour" 1023.

  1. Ina word, Beowulf is a hero that can be described with one word - loyal.
  2. This is a significant trait and one that every warrior or hero must possess. This is why we love Beowulf so much.
  3. He does not try to deny his fear either.
  4. These two distinct characteristics are what sets Beowulf apart from everyone else. Facing the dragon is yet another example of Beowulf's heroism and loyalty.

Later in the story, Wealhtheow awards Beowulf with a torque and a mail. Through the recognition of others, we see the greatness of Beowulf's character. We also know that Beowulf's heroism and loyalty are not insignificant.

To the contrary, it is something that is to be admired and rewarded. These scenes illustrate how loyalty is extremely important to not only the warrior but also his followers. Facing the dragon is yet another example of Beowulf's heroism and loyalty. No help or backing was to be had then From his high-born comrades; that hand-picked troop broke ranks and ran for their lives to the safety of the wood.

Nothing demonstrates loyalty more than a disloyal act. Here we see that Beowulf's men were not up to the same challenge as Beowulf. They succumb to fear and "sorrow welled up: It is important to realize that not all of the men back down in fear.

Heroism and Loyalty in Beowulf&nbspTerm Paper

Wiglaf displays his loyalty when he could not return after all that he had seen. We read that his "spirit did not break" 2628 despite his youth and inexperience. Here we see that it is never too late to be loyal to oneself or one's cause. Furthermore, Wiglaf reveals his loyalty and bravery when he rebukes the others for their lack of bravery, telling them: As God is my witness, would rather my body were robed in the same burning blaze as my gold-giver's body than go back home bearing arms.

When Beowulf dies, loyalty is epitomized as we read how those who deserted Beowulf felt shame and remorse for their actions. Two words that describe Beowulf are hero and loyal. These two distinct characteristics are what sets Beowulf apart from everyone else. Beowulf places loyalty on a high pedestal and, as a result, he becomes a hero.

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He is not a tragic hero as Fisher points out because he "becomes the universal type of humanity and of the life of humanity in all its greatness, in its wonder and sorrow" Fisher. This is why we love Beowulf so much. He is real and we can believe in him.

  • Wiglaf displays his loyalty when he could not return after all that he had seen;
  • When Beowulf dies, loyalty is epitomized as we read how those who deserted Beowulf felt shame and remorse for their actions;
  • Beowulf is nothing if he is not loyal;
  • His life includes the best and the worst of everything;
  • He faces his own fear when he faces Grendel and he faces being left alone when he fights the dragon;
  • He fought evil monsters, which made him a hero in his day.

His life includes the best and the worst of everything. He faces his own fear when he faces Grendel and he faces being left alone when he fights the dragon.

He is a hero because he does not let his fear rule over him. He does not try to deny his fear either.

Provide some examples that show the idea of loyalty in Beowulf.

Instead, he prepares for the worst as he gives it all his best. Because he can face all of his battles with honor, he is a hero we can love. He fought evil monsters, which made him a hero in his day. Today, we recognize his bravery as a powerful trait.

Works Cited Heaney, Seamus. Norton and Company, 1999.