Leaders result due to a valuable service offered to the community.Beowulf was passionate for the success of Geatland and sacrificed hislife in securing it from the enemies. This paper discusses thecharacter of Beowulf that made him outstanding in the poem.
Beowulf wascourageous and strong. Beowulf’s poem aims to display courage andtraits of a great hero. Beowulf greatness is shown during his bothyouth and old age. As indicated in the poem, Beowulf had a strengthof about 30 men combined before attaining the age of 20 years(Mitchell andRobinson 245). He fought with the demon Grendel andsecured victory. In addition, Beowulf challenged Grendel’s motherand eliminated her before finally facing the dragon. The Grendelposed a great threat to Heorot and devoured the Danes. Consequently,Beowulf was a great warrior as discussed in the three phases of thepoem. During his youth, Beowulf was bold and fearless. His boldnessoutsmarted his age mates such as Breca who was claimed to havedefeated Beowulf in swimming contest when they were teens (Mitchelland Robinson 559). Beowulf upheld Germanic heroic codevalues and mannerisms. As a result, he was courteous, prideful andloyal. He became iconic in the community after employing his greatwits to defeat the Grendel together with his mother.
Beowulf wasselfless. Despite emerging as a lovable leader, Beowulf allowedHygelac’s son to become the heir of the kingdom first. Due to hisexemplary skills, he was likely to win the approval of the community.With the threat of the Dragon and Grendel, people eye a leader whocan prevent both the current and future fate in the community.Leaders arise after solving a problem in the community. Beowulf waslikely to be awarded after defeating the Grendel and the Dragon, buthis great trait of selflessness enabled him to observe theestablished kingship procedure. True leaders rarely care about theglory. They are driven to secure the well-being and success of theirpeople without any expectations. Beowulf was respectful to thecurrent throne. As a result, he was worth the position of a kingship.As opposed to Hrothulf, Beowulf was patient. In Denmark, afterHrothulf developed leadership qualities, he did not follow therightful way to acquire the king position.
Beowulf possessed agood reputation. After combating dangers that had encompassedGeatland, many saw him suitable to lead the community. Leadershipmarked the second phase of Beowulf’s life. Hrothgar was a fatherfigure and mentor of Beowulf. During the first encounter, Hrothgarinquired Beowulf how he managed to challenge enemies Geatland(Mitchell andRobinson 251). Beowulf did not have ego, and he gladlymentioned the success of his father and his king, Hygelac first. Inaddition, he acknowledged the people of his community who were theGeats (Mitchelland Robinson 418). Later, Beowulf revealed hissuccess, which involved killing the giants’ tribe and eliminatingenemies from his homeland. In the medieval times, leaders had to bewise and plan carefully on how to defeat their enemies. In addition,a king had to be brave in securing the wealth and land they wereentrusted. They had to select leaders who were capable of maintainingharmony and growth in the community. Beowulf was left under the handsof Hrothgar who was both old and experienced. Hrothgar had witnessedvarious battles in the community as well as several leaderships.Hrothgar was aware of flaws that lead to failure of a leader duringhis reign. As a result, Hrothgar was very essential for thedevelopment of Beowulf. Combined with his warrior traits, Beowulfeasily became the king Geatland. The mentor ensured Beowulf was awareof the roles expected and how to relate to junior leaders.
Beowulf was wise andskillful in communication. He strived to retain his reputation in thepresence of his enemies. At a Geat’s honor banquet, Unferth who wasjealous aimed to destroy the fame of Beowulf. Unferth describedBeowulf as a failure as Breca defeated Beowulf in a swimming contest.In addition, Unferth said the Beowulf was foolish to engage incompetition with Breca since he was less strong and thus he wasdefeated seven times. Unferth used the swimming contest to convincethe friends that Beowulf was not capable of defeating the Grendel.Beowulf did not attack Unferth physically but he remained silentduring the accusations. Beowulf used his wisdom to first congratulateUnferth for discussing his childhood failure (Mitchelland Robinson 532).He politely corrected theinformation of Unferth by stating that the swimming competitionlasted for five days and not seven days. In addition, Beowulfnotified the gathering the Unferth had killed his brothers and didnot dare to approach the Grendel that was a menace to the community(Mitchell andRobinson 596). With the help of strong communicationskills and wisdom, Beowulf was able to preserve his reputation.
In summary, Beowulfwas a dedicated leader to the people of Geatland. He less cared aboutglory or personal enrichment, but the success of the community.Beowulf was courageous, strong, selfless, and had an admirablereputation. He was able to secure the community from the menace ofthe Grendel and the Dragon.
Mitchell,Bruce, and Fred C. Robinson eds. Beowulf:An Edition.Wiley-Blackwell, 1998.