Beowulf Character Analysis

Decent Essays

Through analysis of the text Beowulf translated by Burton Raffel, it is questionable of whether or not Beowulf is good or evil. Based on his actions, intentions and motivations behind his actions, and the way culture shapes him, it is clear that he is, in fact, an evil character. Beowulf is a dishonorable character who is self-absorbed and only saves the people of Herot for fame and wealth.
One of the ways Beowulf is considered evil is that he is very self-absorbed. Throughout the whole text, people see in many ways that he is very egotistical. For example, when arguing with Unferth about fighting the monsters in the sea with Brecca he states “But the truth/Is simple: no man swims in the sea/As I can, no strength is a match for mine.” (lines 533-534) This quote shows that Beowulf thinks very highly of himself but not in a good way. When arguing with Unferth he’s basically is mocking him telling him that he isn’t any better than Beowulf himself and that Beowulf thinks he’s better than everybody. Another part in the book where we see Beowulf being very self-absorbed is the night they were waiting for Grendel to show up and he said: “Grendel is no braver, no stronger than I am!” (lines 677-678) He think’s he’s better than everyone else just like when he was arguing with Unferth. He thinks that he can do everything that a normal person can’t which makes him look very cocky.
Many people that read the book Beowulf itself might argue that he, in fact, is a good or heroic

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