Throughout this paper I plan to examine the positive and negative repercussions of bravery in the epic poem Beowulf. I shall demonstrate how the consequences of bravery were beneficial in this epic. I shall also demonstrate how bravery did not always lead to a propitious outcome. The person who demonstrated the most bravery throughout this epic was obviously the main character, Beowulf. Throughout the span of his lifetime he became well renown for his bravery, but due to his bravery his life is lost in battle.Order now
The most obvious positive repercussion of bravery would be fame. Through Beowulfs bravery and his ability to win battles he earned much fame. Soldiers and storytellers alike told tales of Beowulfs brave deeds. On pg. 121 there are Geats speaking about Beowulf, and they basically sum up the fame of Beowulfs among the average person. Telling their sorrow, telling stories of their dead king and his greatness, his glory, praising him for heroic deeds, for a life as noble as his name.
Another positive repercussion of bravery is wealth. In this epic wealth would include land, money, and most importantly for a warrior, grandiose armor and weapon. In this epic soldiers can earn wealth by displaying bravery on the battlefield (or wherever else they may be battling). One example of this is after Efor and Wulf kill Ongetho, the Swedish king. The passage read, Efor and Wulf would have treasure heaped in their battle hard hands; hed repay them their bravery with wealth, give them gold and lands and silver rings, with rich rewards for the glorious deeds theyd done with their swords. Beowulf earned much wealth in all his days as well.
As a warrior he gained much treasure, land, and battle gear.
One other positive repercussion of bravery is that power may be achieved through it. He would achieve this power in many ways. First off, he would have wealth. Since wealth is pretty much power he would have already achieved most of his power. Next, since he is famous.
Fame is power as well. This is why Beowulf had the option of becoming king instead of Higlacs heir, because Beowulf had an undeniably good reputation in battle. This is shown on page 97. The passage state, Higlacs widow brought him the crown, offered him the kingdom, not trusting Herdred, her son and Higlacs, to beat foreign invaders.
A negative repercussion of bravery in this epic is that due to Beowulfs bravery and fame he keeps all the attackers away from the Geats. This doesnt sound like a negative repercussion, but in the long run it is.
After Beowulf dies he leave the Wiglaf to take over for him. This is a big job because all the people that wanted to attack the Geats before (when Beowulf was king) will now feel like they can attack again. They will probably be pretty mad as well, because theyve been forced to wait so long to attack. On page 117 the feelings of some Geats are revealed. They say that, As soon as theyve learned how our lord is dead, know that the Geats are leaderless, have lost the best of kings, Beowulf-he who held our enemies away, kept land and treasure intact, who saved Hrothgar and the Danes-he who lived his whole life bravely.
The final negative repercussion of bravery in this epic is that it can make people make unwise decisions.
This is demonstrated with Beowulf. He could have stayed, and let the dragon go back to sleep, instead he went off to fight the dragon. So he demonstrated his bravery yet one more time. I believe the old adage live by the sword, die by the sword would apply in this case. Beowulf was always brave; his bravery always brought him fame or wealth. This time however, Beowulf dies bravely.
As Beowulf said to Wiglaf on page 110 as he was dying, Youre the last of all our far-flung family, fate has swept our race away. Taken warriors in their strength and led them to the death that was waiting. And Now I follow them.
In conclusion I believe that in the epic poem, Beowulf, bravery has .