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Unferth

Unferth

Unferth’s challenge to Beowulf’s honor differentiates him from Beowulf and helps to reveal some of the subtleties of the heroic code that the warriors must follow. Unferth is presented as a lesser man, a foil for the near-perfect Beowulf. (A foil is a character whose traits contrast with and thereby accentuate those of another character.) The bitterness of Unferth’s chiding of Beowulf about his swimming match with Breca clearly reflects his jealousy of the attention that Beowulf receives. It probably also stems from his shame at being unable to protect Heorot himself—he is clearly not the sort of great warrior whom legend will remember. While boasting is a proper and acceptable form of self-assertion, Unferth’s harsh words show that it ought not to be bitter or disparaging of others. Rather than heroism, Unferth’s blustering reveals pride and resentment. Later, Unferth’s gift of his sword for Beowulf’s fight against Grendel’s mother heals Unferth’s breach of hospitality, but it does little to improve his heroic status. Unlike Beowulf, Unferth is clearly afraid to fight the monster himself.

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UNFERTH QUIZ

Beowulf is a hero in youth because he is strong and brave, but why is he a hero as an older man?
Because he’s given special powers by the dragon
Because of his sense of honor and responsibility
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the guard at the shore

by sleepytimejosh, October 21, 2013

i need to find the part in the book where beowulf lands upon the shore and the guard comes down n' confronts him.

3 Comments

15 out of 64 people found this helpful

BEOWUL

by mary1234590, February 06, 2014

i really love this great epic.....i enjoy reading it line by line

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4 out of 10 people found this helpful

Punishment

by u-min, September 14, 2014

Reading this was my prison punishment. Eye brows on fleek. Finna get crunk.

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110 out of 156 people found this helpful

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