Desire for Glory: Strength or Weakness
Everyone has a desire for glory. This strong desire could either be a strength or a weakness depending on the way the character acts. A hero is a man of courage and ability who is admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. A hero is a person who does not come along very often in any time period. He is a special person, who is a step above the average person in the way that he handles any situation that may arise. This statement is very true for the time of Anglo-Saxon culture and literature. A hero was like a god and was put on a pedestal far above the others. A hero brought peace to situations that were deemed impossible and brought joy to many people. Even while Beowulf tries to be a hero, he desire for glory is a weakness in his character. In the epic poem Beowulf, Beowulfs desire for glory is a weakness in his character. Beowulf is a strong person and is also the hero of his town, but his desire for glory shows a weakness in his character. In the epic poem Beowulf, Beowulfs desire for glory is a weakness in his character because it makes him cocky, it is dangerous and he takes challenges that he cannot win.
To begin, Beowulfs desire for power is a weakness because it makes him cocky. If he continues to want power he gets more and more over confident with himself. This means that people will begin not to like him anymore. The people of the town do not like arrogant leaders and if Beowulf is that way then the people will begin to hate him and want to overthrow him. Next, Beowulfs desire for power is a weakness because he takes challenges that he cannot win. One of the challenges he takes is when he fights the fire breathing dragon. Beowulf knows that the dragon is bigger than he is but he still wants to fight him anyways. Also Beowulf fights Grendel without armor. Beowulf says, A king before, but now a beaten warrior (McDougal 60). After he fights Grendel, he is finally a beaten warrior because fighting against him with no armor is not a smart thing to do. Without armor Beowulf is not as prone to wounds as he normally would be. Lastly, his desire for glory and power is a weakness in his character because it is dangerous. This ties into the last point made when the battle with Grendel was mentioned. Beowulf battles Grendel and his mother and both of these battles are very dangerous. Beowulf does not use armor for a lot of the battles he fights and he says, My hands alone shall fight for me, struggle for life against the monster (McDougal 60). Beowulf is a strong fighter but he desire for power and glory shows a strong weakness in his character.
In conclusion, in the epic poem Beowulf, Beowulfs quest for glory is a weakness in his character because it causes him to be cocky and arrogant, he takes challenges that he cannot win, and it is very dangerous. He is mainly worried about what other people think of him but if he gains too much power then everyone will hate him so it will not matter how much power he has. Beowulf is a strong character but these three things show a strong weakness in his character. It is mentioned in the poem that regret is one of his biggest flaws, so if his flaw is regret, shouldnt he regret being arrogant if he gains too much power? Shouldnt he regret losing battles that he could have won if he was not too self confident? The answer to both of these is yes, he should be more concerned with what people think of him, rather than having too much glory and power. He wants to be the best at everything, but not everyone can be the best. Everyone wants to be glorious but Beowulfs desire for glory is a little bit too much.