Beowulf: the Story of a Dual Ordeal Essay

668 WordsOct 27, 20113 Pages
Beowulf can be analyzed in an endless numbers of ways. There are different morals, themes, and meanings behind the story. A common meaning, maybe even the most important, is the dual ordeal in Beowulf. The dual ordeal is an external battle with vicious opponents and an internal battle with human tendencies of pride, greed, cowardice, betrayal, and self concern. Each external battle Beowulf wins, his internal battle grows. Beowulf’s external conflicts are part of what creates his internal conflict. Beowulf must defeat the monster Grendel whom had been killing men in the middle of the night and taking their bodies. “Beowulf heard how Grendel was filling nights with horror so he commanded a boat so he could go see king Hrothgar.” (Beowulf…show more content…
“He chose the mightiest men he could find, the bravest and the best of the Geats, fourteen in all, and led them down to their boat…”(Beowulf 23) Beowulf’s internal pride suggested he use no weapons, just his hands. He believed if he had fate on his side, no weapons were necessary. Beowulf’s pride is what led him to be king of the Geats and his name and stories to continue on. Beowulf faces the internal conflicts, self concern and betrayal, when he is much older and king. Even though he was much older he decided to battle a fire dragon because he was his people’s hero. Though Beowulf had helped so many people when he was young and strong, none of his comrades came to help him. Instead, they ran for their lives. “And only one of them remained, stood there, miserable, remembering as a good man must, what kinship should mean.” (Beowulf 43) Beowulf and his one comrade, Wiglaf, kill the dragon, but Beowulf is injured and soon dies. The last internal conflict Beowulf has before he dies is the betrayal of his people. Until Beowulf died, his internal battles and external battles were never ending. Once he won an external battle, his external battle, pride, would only get bigger. This would go on and on until his last battle where he finally fails due to the betrayal of his people. The one time Beowulf needed the Geats, they ran like cowards resulting in their almighty kings death. Without Beowulf’s internal and external battles he would have never lived in

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