Beowulf’s Good Deeds

During my life, I heard tell the tale of Beowulf, a most wondrous account of heroics and kinship. I was most impressed by this figure Beowulf, who harbored no fear for Death or bodily harm. I must commend him for his Courage, a most valiant companion that led him through his otherworldly travails. I myself quailed when Death came, and learned all too well that no one can forestall that fated journey. In my fear I sought the companionship of both Fellowship and Kindred, and although they professed their love and offered their support, they would not accompany me on my final pilgrimage. So too did Beowulf’s clan and kin eventually fall away, unable or unwilling to step with him to Death.

My next recourse was to turn to my Goods, of which Beowulf is surely rich. He bore the gifts of a kingdom and the battle gear of great figures, the rings of Hrothgar and the great sword Hrunting. My Goods amounted to nothing in the face of Death, and so too did his.

With nowhere else to turn, I called upon my trusted attributes, my Beauty and Strength, my Discretion and Five Wits, and even my Knowledge. These figures helped me in life, and surely so did Beowulf’s. His Strength felled both Grendel and the beast’s abominable Mother, descendants of the hated brother Cain. His Five Wits enabled him a graceful tongue and a taste for boasting and celebration, as well as a fierce sense for battle. Although these traits have helped us both, none were willing to accompany me into Death. Beowulf must have shared the same fate.

I found solace in my own Good Deeds. They alone followed me beyond Death, and a sincere Confession and the strength of my Deeds allowed me a place amongst the angels in Heaven. Does this not mean that Beowulf had no reason to fear Death? His Good Deeds are the stuff of legends. I fear for Beowulf’s soul, only because I wonder if he underwent Confession before leaving the world. Good Deeds are strengthened by sincere Confession, and without such honest repentance, do Beowulf’s Good Deeds outweigh his Pride and his boasting?

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One thought on “Beowulf’s Good Deeds

  1. Surely, slaying Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and then a Dragon, all whilst in doing such selflessly risking (and in the last one, sacrificing) his life for others–albeit he did benefit in many ways(e.g. financially) after the first two triumphs, however these were post facto benefits– is enough to compensate for a bit of hubris? Surely, you can not expect your deity to be so unreasonable–so stringent–and naive in his understanding of mortal men, so as to condemn someone for certain foibles and not take these in context? Might he instead, rather than requiring subjects such as Beowulf and yourself to consciously seek his grace through prayer and devotion to him while on earth, be more focused on, amidst judging someone, their ethics and intentions regarding their actions during their time on earth; and only in the case of those who’ve not spent their time virtuously–who’ve sinned–then might he offer them a chance for repentance?

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