Reflections on the Text

    The focal point of this section of the epic poem Beowulf is what the model 
warrior should be like.  It is summed up in the line "Have no care for pride, 
great warrior"(Beowulf, 49)  by Hrothgar in his speech to Beowulf.  Like Beowulf, 
we are all warriors. We fight monsters every day of our lives, perhaps not 
giants and dragons, but fear, pressure, people, drugs, and numerous other demons 
which are the stumbling blocks we fall over, and the unlit corridors and corners 
which we must walk through.  Many of them we create ourselves in our selfishness, 
arrogance, hatred, and pride.  It is good to be proud of what we do and where 
we come from, but too  much pride becomes fuel for selfishness, arrogance,  
and hatred.
    Pride is a theme often used by writers in many works of literature.  In Beowulf
Hrothgar gives an example of hubris and its effects in his tale about Heremod.  
Hrothgar says, "With swollen heart he killed his table-companions" (Beowulf, 49).  
Heremod grew blood-thisty. His pride led him to the slaughtering of his kinsmen. 
We need not stop at literature. We can see it in our lives.  One example is 
Mike Tyson, who lost his last fight because of hubris.  In the prefight, 
he was cocky and arrogant.  He did not train properly and was in poor condition the 
day of the fight.  He had been on a winning streak for months, knocking out his 
opponent within the first 2 or 3 rounds.  This caused his pride to swell and caused 
him to lose the fight. 
    We can learn alot from Hrothgar's speech, even though it was written circa 
600 A.D. in a society very different from our own.  The cause (hubris) and effect 
(a fall) are as true today as they were so many years ago.  Beowulf, in his greatness, does 
not allow his pride to get in the way and becomes a great king who rules for 50 years 
in joy.  If we learn from his example and do not become prideful, life might be a little 
bit better.

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