Who Is Beowulf A Good King

Decent Essays
A great king has past experiences that help them to rule successfully over their kingdom. Beowulf, translated by Clarence Griffin Child, is a story about a great hero who fights many battles and goes on to become a great king. Beowulf, the hero, first fights Grendel and his mother in order to bring peace to the Danes. Beowulf returns to his land of the Weder-Geats and only becomes king when Hygelac, the king, and his descendants die. He then goes on to become a great ruler until he dies after slaying a dragon that had been terrorizing the Geats. Beowulf’s actions as a warrior led him to gain the traits he needed to become the great king of the Weder-Geats.

First of all, Beowulf’s decision to help others, even when not asked, is a trait every
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“There Hygd proffered him… the king’s seat; she trusted not her son that he would know how to hold his ancestral seats against stranger folk, seeing Hygelac was dead. ”(47). Hygelac, king of the Weder-Geats, has died in battle, and the queen asked Beowulf to rule in her son’s place. Beowulf does not want to be king over Heardred, prince of the Geats. He chooses instead to help Heardred until he was able to rule the Weder-Geats himself. Beowulf only became king when both descendants of Hygelac had perished. “...through shocks of battle, after Hygelac fell and the war-swords had slain Heardred beneath his shield’s shelter...and overthrew the nephew of Heneric in war; thereafter was it the broad realm fell into the hand of Beowulf”(44). Beowulf was a great king to the Weder-Geats for fifty years. He was respected and cared for all of his people. He did not seek out wars, or glory at the expense of his people, but instead protected them from any enemies. “I have ruled the people fifty years; no folk-king was there of them that dealt about me durst touch me with his sword or cow me through terror, I bided at home the hours of destiny, guarded well mine own, sought not feuds with guile,swore not many an oath unjustly”(54). Beowulf shows selflessness in many of his acts, especially when he reigned as king. He did not put his people in unnecessary danger, but instead cared for their needs. This made him a hero to his people as their
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