A Selfish Hero

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A Selfish Hero Many people recognize Beowulf as the hero of Anglo-Saxon times. Judging by his amazing resume of feats and strengths, this is not hard to believe. However, the epic, Beowulf, illustrates the great length the character had to go through to succeed. Beowulf did anything in his power to prevail, leading him to become selfish. A closer analysis of Beowulf's speech, thoughts, and actions will prove this thesis to be true. Beowulf's speech proves that he would do anything to prevail, which explains his selfishness. Although defeated in some battles, Beowulf managed to do whatever it took to justify his loses to make himself look successful. This can be seen in his discussion with Unferth. "Then winter churned through the water, the waves ran you as they willed, and you struggled seven long nights to survive. And at the end victory was his, not yours (Lines 248-251)." This phrase from the story comes from the jealous Unferth who attempts to criticize Beowulf's battles. Upon hearing this however, Beowulf accuses Unferth of being drunk in order to make people believe he did not know what he is saying. "Ah! Unferth, my friend, your face is hot with ale, and your tongue had tried to tell us about Brecca's doings (Lines 263-265)." After hearing this, people are lead to believe Beowulf is not taking this criticism seriously, thus making the obviously envy Unferth looked down upon, and making Beowulf appear in control with his loses and in the conversation. As the speech went on, Beowulf addresses Unferth's murder of his own brothers and tells him that he is an unknown warrior. This speech was made in front of many people so Beowulf's words to Unferth were very embarrassing. Beowulf did not care if he was boastful or arrogant, or did not even consider the feelings of others. Beowulf sacrificed the feelings of others in order to make himself appear successful.
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