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The Courage of Beowulf Essay

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Courage is a theme that is shown throughout the entire epic of Beowulf. By definition courage is the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes on ones own will and determination. There are many things form the epic that could be used to prove this statement, but I chose to use the section entitled "The Final Battle." In this section there are two great speeches given by both Beowulf and Wiglaf. I believe that in both of these monologues courage is portrayed by the two warriors, and it is easy to see why.

     In Section 14, lines 674-685 Beowulf says,
          "....I feel no shame, with shield and sword and armor, against this monster: when                he comes to me I mean to stand, not to run from his shooting flames, stand till               fate decides which one of us wins. My heart is firm, my hands calm: I need no               hot words. Wait for me close by, my friends. We shall see, soon, who will survive               this bloody battle, stand when the fighting is done. No one else could do what I               mean to, here, no man but me could hope to defeat this monster. No one could               try..."
Now, this passage pretty much explains Beowulf's courage without an interpretation, but for the sake of argument I will interpret it for you. Beowulf is saying that he has no fear in fighting this monster, because he means to stand and not run. He says that his heart is firm and his hands are calm,...


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