Beowulf by anonymous

November 18, 2010
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In the poem of Beowulf, the writer portrays the mindset of the leaders in distinctive ways as they tend to the needs of their people. King Hrothgar, Beowulf, and Wiglaf are represented as being the three main leaders. They all handle situations differently, which sets them apart as ascendancy. The decisions and actions that they make reflect them as a person or a leader. As one, King Hrothgar, Beowulf and Wiglaf make an honorable commander.
At the beginning of the poem, King Hrothgar demonstrates how he handles the biggest upset the Danes had ever seen. King Hrothgar is an elderly man and has a growing lassitude of all of the problems that keep arising. At some point, he finds himself helpless and stagnant. “Hrothgar their lord, sat joyless in heart, a mighty prince mourning the fate of his last friends and companions. Knowing by its tracks that some demon had torn his fellows apart. He wept fearing the beginning might not be the end” (PP 6, lines 45-49). This quote shows that King Hrothgar cannot handle all of the stress that is being fixed upon him. When he began to wept, it shows that he has done all that he possibly can, and he has met the end. To his people, this could seem like a weakness as a leader or a sign of giving up. Later on, King Hrothgar reveals one of the strongest and most intrepid fighters of his time: Beowulf “My lord the great king of the Danes, commands me to tell you that he knows of your noble birth and that having come to him from over the open sea you have come bravely and are welcome” (PP 9, Lines 127-130). With this being said, King Hrothgar invited Beowulf for much needed help. Since King Hrothgar cannot physically do anything, seeking help is the smartest move he could ever make. He contributed a lot to help fight all of the monsters by calling for Beowulf. Even if being older and not physically capable of fighting off the monsters, King Hrothgar does his best to ensure that the Danes will be safe.
Later on, Beowulf surprises everyone with his ability to fight off anything that comes along. He represents a very strong and stable man with the capability of fighting for his people. But is it for the right reasons? When Beowulf presents himself to King Hrothgar he comes off as very confident and well known. He speaks about all of his accomplishments, rather than his purpose of being there. “I drove five great giants into chains, chased that entire race from Earth. I swam in the blackness of night, hunting monsters out of the ocean and killing them one by one” (PP 10, Lines 153-158). By these few lines, the reader can tell that Beowulf wants to impress King Hrothgar with his success. He also wants to make himself well known based on what he can do or will do. After the battle with the dragon, Beowulf is beginning to experience death. “Death will be softer, leaving life and this people I’ve ruled so long, if I look at this lost of all prizes” (PP 27, Lines 761-763). At this time in his death, Beowulf is recapping what he has done. He asks Wiglaf to go retrieve all of their won possessions, but does not say a word about being proud to serve his people. From there, he says: “This tower and remember my name, and call if Beowulf tower, and boats in the darkness and mist crossing the sea, will know it” (PP 29, Lines 817-819). Rather than giving out any form of a thank you to Wiglaf (for helping him fight the dragon), Beowulf continues to have an ascendancy over Wiglaf and instruct. Although he was the only one who stepped up to save his people and fight off the dragon, he wanted to be remembered for all of his great accomplishments, but not for the dedicated leader that he illustrated himself to be. The question of whether or not Beowulf was really there for the right reason is still unknown. But, there is certainty that he fought to the best of his ability and helped direct the Danes back into a comfortable place.

During the slow annihilations of Beowulf, Wiglaf was the only man audacious enough to rise and attempt to help save his lord. Wiglaf proves throughout the poem that he is worthy enough to face any obstacle. Wiglaf sees his lord in danger and attempts to rescue his life with no one by his side to help - only himself. This shows that Wiglaf is completely loyal and dedicated to Beowulf because Wiglaf will always be there when he is needed. “By almighty God, I’d rather burn myself than see flames swirling around my lord” (PP 26, Lines 725-727). His devotion to his lord (Beowulf) over powers every other man, because Wiglaf was the only man to rise to the challenge of defeating the dragon. Also, by Wiglaf stating that he would “rather burn” than “see flames swirling around his lord”, shows that he would die for his lord. He has devoted his life to Beowulf, and would rather see himself tortured than his lord. These few lines that Wiglaf has, exemplifies what type of leader Wiglaf can be – trustworthy and respectable. Towards the end, at the last “stretch” of his death, Beowulf turns to talk to Wiglaf. “Take what I leave, Wiglaf, lead my people, help them, my time is gone. Have the brave Greats build me a tomb. “When the funeral flame has burned me, and build it here at the water’s edge” (PP 29, Lines 810-815). Wiglaf is acknowledged by Beowulf for all of his daring and selfless motivated actions. Also, Beowulf is confident in Wiglaf enough to hand over his”title”. He can now lead the former people of Beowulf and take charge. Although taking over Beowulf’s position is a lot to live up too – in the eyes of a Geat-, Beowulf stating that he wants Wiglaf to, shows that he is capable of doing so. Despite the fact that Wiglaf wasn’t necessarily involved in all of the killings, he came through for his lord in a crucial time of need.
All of the actions King Hrothgar, Beowulf and Wiglaf made were all respected by their colleagues. “So should all men raise up words for their lords, warm with love when their shield and protector leaves his body behind, sends soul on high” (PP 31, Lines 889-893). In the end, all of the leaders came together to solve a predicament within their community. While one might have done something for the wrong or insignificant reason, and another for the right they all three led the Danes and Greats back to victory.

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