What makes a “well loved lord” ( 20 ) . an “honored prince” ( 88 ) or a “leader beloved” ( 1827 ) ? Cultures every bit good as persons have differed in their definitions of a successful male monarch for coevalss. The heroic poem verse form Beowulf introduces two male monarchs: Beowulf. the supporter of the narrative. the celebrated hero who slays monsters with his bare custodies and so becomes male monarch of the Geats. and Hrothgar. the male monarch of the Danish tribunal. who is thankful for Beowulf’s aid in get the better ofing Grendel and his female parent.
A male monarch received regard for wealth. celebrity. and warriors. during the clip in which the verse form Beowulf takes topographic point. However. a male monarch should travel beyond these basic “needs” and go one with his people. This is accomplishable by depending on one’s people alternatively of staying independent. and moving rationally and logically instead than rashly. True Leaders delegate work instead than taking attention of everything themselves.
and think of effects every bit good as bounds. Hrothgar succeeds in run intoing all of these standards. while Beowulf comes off short. Beowulf. a true hero instead than a true male monarch. obtains wealth. celebrity. and warriors but acts independently and headlong. as a hero should.
Both Hrothgar and Beowulf present themselves as honored male monarchs. because of their lucks. celebrity and great sets of warriors. Throughout Beowulf the storyteller uses such phrases as “well loved lord” ( 20 ) . “honored prince” ( 88 ) . and “leader beloved” ( 1827 ) to depict both Hrothgar and Beowulf. Hrothgar’s passage to going a great male monarch is described: “Hrothgar was granted glorification in war. success in conflict ; considerations bold obeyed him lief ; his set increased to a mighty host” ( 38-41 ) . Equally good as holding a set of warriors which follow him lief. Hrothgar gives out rings as wagess. and has a meadhall built. “mightier than adult male [ has ] known” ( 43 ) . This “famous mead-hall…to distant states it’s name [ is ] known. The Hall of the Hart” ( 51-53 ) . Not merely is Hrothgar successful in the eyes of his ain people. but word of his many workss. such as constructing the Mead hall. travel far.
Beowulf achieves similar celebrity. non merely as a hero but besides as a male monarch. His reign is summed up: “For 50 winters he governed [ his people ] well” ( 1372 ) . He is described as “the friend. who had dealt [ his people ] treasure” ( 1797 ) . the “ring prince” ( 1443 ) and the “mighty leader” ( 1559 ) . Beowulf. being a celebrated hero because of his bravery and physical strength. is besides known as “the Godhead of warriors” ( 1436 ) and he “who [ had ] frequently withstood the shower of steel [ for his people ] ” ( 1834 ) . Though Beowulf and Hrothgar both manus out wagess and create famed groups of powerful warriors. there is more to being a great male monarch than merely wealth. and warriors.
In Beowulf. Hrothgar and Beowulf appear to be trusty. except that Beowulf breaks the biggest promise he makes to his people. which is to non decease for the interest of glorification. Hrothgar seems to ever remain true to his word. as is told at the beginning. “the male monarch kept good his pledge and promise to cover out gifts. [ and ] rings at the baquet” ( 53-55 ) . Further on in the narrative. Hrothgar makes a promise to honor Beowulf if he succeeds in killing the monster Grendel who has been stalking the celebrated mead-hall for 12 old ages. He says. “For his gallant bravery I’ll load him with gifts… . [ He ] shall cognize non desire of hoarded wealth or wealth or goodly gift that [ his ] want may hunger. while I have power” ( 290-291. 689-691 ) . Beowulf is successful in butchering Grendel. and hence “upon Beowulf. so. as a item of victory. Hrothgar bestowed a criterion of gold. a streamer embroidered. a byrny and helm…a dearly-won sword” ( 745-747 ) .
He tells the brave hero. “I will maintain you Beowulf. stopping point to my bosom in steadfast fondness ; as boy to beget keep fast henceforth to this foster-kinship” ( 686-688 ) . Not merely does Hrothgar maintain his promise to honor Beowulf. he besides makes him his Foster boy so that a lasting confederation is formed in instance Beowulf of all time needs any aid. Beowulf. before he has taken on the function of king. and is still a hero. is besides a adult male of his word. This is desplayed when he keeps his promise to Hrothgar. Beowulf boasts. “With Grendel. the fearful monster. unassisted I’ll settle the discord! …with hand-grip merely I’ll grapnel with Grendel” ( 329-330. 342 ) . Although Beowulf “found that ne’er earlier had he felt in any adult male other in all the Earth a mightier hand-grip ; his temper was humbled. his bravery fled” ( 568-570 ) . which means he lost his bravery for a minute. he proceeds to get the better of his frights and non merely kill Grendel. but merely as he has promised. kill him unarmed. Subsequently on in Beowulf. the hero becomes king. but still behaves like a hero by traveling out himself to kill a firedrake. firing the places of his people. Wiglaf. one of his companions says.
“Beloved Beowulff. cite your strength. retrieve the vow you made of old in the old ages of young person non to let your glorification to decrease every bit long as you lived. With resolute bosom. and audacious dare. support your life with all your force. ” ( 1589-1595 )
Beowulf does non maintain to these words. which province that he should non allow himself be overtaken by the demand for glorification. and hence put on the line his life. Beowulf is non convinced. and is killed by the firedrake. After he dies. Wiglaf speaks once more.
“We could non carry the male monarch by our advocate. our well-loved leader. to eschew assualt on the awful firedrake guarding the gold ; to allow him lie where he long had lurked in his secret den till the universe shall stop. But Beowulf. dauntless pressed to his day of reckoning. ” ( 1815-1820 )
Although both Hrothgar and Beowulf are work forces of their words. Beowulf can non defy the enticement of one time once more being the hero. By taking gallantry over his vows. Beowulf desplays that he is a good male monarch. but a better hero. Hrothgar on the otherhand has no duties to other passions. he can merely do being a great king his precedence.
An extraordinary male monarch Acts of the Apostless rationally instead than headlong. by recognizing the effects his actions will hold on the land. Hrothgar succeeds in making so. while Beowulf dooms his common people with his ill-judged daring. Hrothgar’s strong concern with his people is desplayed after Grendel’s foremost onslaught on the mead-hall. when he is “weighed down with suffering and heavy of bosom. [ and ] sat sorely sorrowing for slaughtered thanes…sorrowfully dwelling in sore distress…too bitter the battle that stunned the people” ( 90-91. 125-128 ) . If Hrothgar was apathetic to the feelings of his people. he would non be so shaken by their deceases. Although Hrothgar is profoundly moved by the slaughter of his people. he doesn’t put on the line his ain life to contend Grendel becauses he realizes that a land without a good male monarch is likely to neglect. and at his old age. it is rediculous to take on such a vernal escapade.
In these two facets. Hrothgar and Beowulf greatly differ. Alternatively of desplaying the same sort of sorrow. as does Hrothagar. when some Geat common people are killed by the firedrake. Beowulf thinks right off about retaliation. When intelligence of the incident is brought to Beowulf. “dark ideas stirred in his billowing bosom. welled in his chest. as was non his wont… [ Beowulf ] exacted an ample retaliation for it all” ( 1430-1431. 1435 ) . Alternatively of being overcome by heartache. the demand for retaliation from his yearss as a brave warrior returns. a feeling he is no longer used to since he has ruled for 50 old ages and his hero’s bosom has been buried deep interior of him. This lecherousness for retaliation leads Beowulf to non merely want to kill the firedrake. but to kill it on his ain ; “The ring-prince scorned to assail the firedrake with a mighty ground forces. or host of men” ( 1444 ) . As Beowulf is now about 70. it is rather obvious that such a title is impossible. However. he continues with his program and is killed in the procedure. and “often for one adult male many must grieve as has now befallen the common people of the Geats” ( 1813-1815 ) .
A courier comes and predicts the day of reckoning of the Geats. “over and over she uttered her apprehension of sorrow to come. of bloodshed and slaughter. panic of conflict. and bondage and shame” ( 1870-1872 ) . It is all a consequence of Beowulf go forthing his land to fend for itself. because he wanted that last spot of hero’s glorification. Therefore. Beowulf did non move in the involvement of his people but for his ain interest. because his decease is easy forseen when the state of affairs is examined. This shows that his inner hero is stronger than his interior male monarch. Hrothgar on the other manus does precisely what an extraordiary male monarch should make. he becomes one with the people. and realisticly takes on state of affairss in order to avoid unecessary effects.
In comparing to Hrothgar. Beowulf is a good male monarch but non a great successful male monarch. because his precedences are set in the incorrect topographic point. Of class both Beowulf and Hrothgar are celebrated for their gifts of gold. and mighty sets of warriors. but this is non all which makes up a great successful male monarch. Hrothgar keeps to his word so as to be trusted by his people. but Beowulf decides to give up this trust for personal glorification. Not merely does Beowulf give up trust. he besides leaves his land in the dust to take on the firedrake himself. because he is overcome by the demand to take retaliation and be a hero. He would much instead die as a hero than unrecorded as a male monarch. This merely puts Hrothgar above Beowulf when they are compared as male monarchs. Of Course one can see it otherwise if one’s reading of a better king differs from the one presented. but such evidently necessary properties such as being sympathetic. trustworthy. and caring should transport over to all culture’s definitions of an extraordinary Godhead. leader. male monarch. or prince in some manner or another.
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