Beowulf Essay

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Leadership as Defined by Beowulf What defines a great leader? What constitutes a great king? The obvious qualities would include confidence, dedication, and intelligence, but what else? The poem Beowulf, a classic Anglo Saxon poem brings its own opinions about what defines a great leader. According to the poem, a great leader is one who thinks rationally, keeps his country at peace, takes care of his people, believes in God, has Divine kingship, and has good morals. This great leader is exemplified by none other than our epic protagonist and namesake of the poem: Beowulf himself. Beowulf is granted kingship of Geatland as a reward for defeating Grendel and his mother in two separate battles. Grendel was an evil demon who was terrorizing the Danish population in their sleep. When Beowulf is granted his newfound kingship he is immediately warned by Hrothgar to “Put away arrogance”(1759) and swallow his pride as a ruler. Beowulf did exactly just that. He avoids the emotion that leads to the downfall of many great leaders throughout history: Greed. Beowulf was satisfied with the power that he had and didn’t ask for more. He didn’t try to expand his empire by conquering more countries. He simply accepted the land that he had. He didn’t cause excessive drama to draw attention to himself or let it be known that he was the best. In fact we hear very little about Beowulf's kingdom from the time he was granted his kingship until his fight with the mighty dragon because nothing happened. There was simply 50 years of peace. (2200) From this we learn a great leader must be able to listen to the advice of others, be humble and act rationally. Peace is very important to uphold a kingdom and maintain order. A good leader should also be incorruptible, honest and fair. Beowulf demonstrates this when he refuses to take weapons to his battle with Grendel “I shall not cut

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