Beowulf: Great Leader For The Geats And Danes In The Anglo-Saxon Epic Poem
The virtue of leadership can be seen through Beowulf, St. Paul, and Aeneas. Beowulf proves his great leadership skills throughout the epic poem. He takes on the challenge of Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon. Beowulf agrees to aid King Hrothgar of the Danes in defeating the monster that is Grendel. Beowulf, being the courageous leader and warrior that he is, proves himself upon slaying Grendel. Beowulf then fights Grendel’s much larger mother and once again proves his strength and courage by defeating her. His final duel is with a dragon who is terrorizing their land. The dragon is Beowulf’s greatest challenge in the whole poem and he ends up defeating this terrible dragon after it bites him. St. Paul is one of the greatest leaders in the history of the Catholic Church. He was a rabbi as well as a persecutor of Christians before Jesus spoke to him from heaven. After this happened to him, he became a devout follower and apostle of Christ. He brought together different Christian communities and helped the church grow to what it is today. Aeneas is the most important character in The Aeneid by Virgil and serves as a great leader throughout the epic poem. Aeneas leads the Trojans to Rome in hopes of starting a new city. When war breaks out between the Trojans and the Italians in the area, Aeneas leads the Trojans to victory and slays Turnus of Rutuli. While these men all lived in different times with their own unique circumstances, Beowulf, St. Paul, and Aeneas all similarly exhibited great leadership skills in their lives.
Beowulf serves as a great leader for the Geats and Danes in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem, Beowulf. Beowulf proves his leadership skills by challenging three opponents who most would not even think about attempting to fight. The first opponent that he faces is a very large monster named Grendel. Beowulf agrees to aid King Hrothgar of the Danes in defeating the monster that is Grendel. King Hrothgar felt that Beowulf was the best man to take on Grendel: “When he heard about Grendel, Hygelac’s thane / was on home ground, over in Geatland / There was no one else like him alive / In his day, he was the mightiest man on earth”. Grendel attacks Heorot, the mead hall in Daneland, countless times. Beowulf, being the courageous leader and warrior that he is, proves himself upon slaying Grendel. Soon after doing this, Beowulf must now take on Grendel’s even larger mother. Beowulf proves his strength and courage for the second time by challenging Grendel’s mom in a cave underwater. When the sword he carries with him fails, Beowulf stumbles upon a new sword that proves itself useful in defeating Grendel’s mother: “So the Shieldings’ hero, hard-pressed and enraged / took a firm hold of the hilt and swung / the blade in an arc, a resolute blow / that bit deep into her neck-bone”. Grendel’s mother was defeated by that swing of the sword. After this, he decides to return to Geatland, his homeland. Upon his return home, King Hygelac steps down as king and crowns Beowulf the King of the Geats. Beowulf serves as the Geat’s great, peaceful king for fifty years. This peacefulness, unfortunately, does not last forever and Beowulf’s life ends up coming to a fairly tragic end. He and Wiglaf must face a dragon who is terrorizing their homeland. The dragon is Beowulf’s greatest and final challenge in the epic poem. He ends up defeating this terrible dragon after it bites him: “When a chance came, he caught the hero / in a rush of flame and clamped sharp fangs / into his neck. Beowulf’s body / ran wet with his life-blood: it came welting out”. This bite ends up taking the life of Beowulf just moments after he and Wiglaf defeat the dragon. Throughout the poem, Beowulf acts as a selfless leader. He fights these great opponents for the safety and well-being of the Danes and Geats. He is one of the most admirable leaders in Anglo-Saxon society because of what he does as a leader and warrior.
St. Paul is one of the greatest leaders in the history of the Catholic Church. He was born under the Jewish religion around the same time as Jesus Christ and became a very important rabbi when he got older. Before he became this great Catholic leader, Paul was a persecutor of Christians. There was one day in specific that changed everything in Paul’s religious life. He was on his way to arrest some Christians in Damascus, and right before he made it there, something interesting happened: “Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ He asked, “Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”. Following this event, Paul’s beliefs changed drastically. He became a devout follower and apostle of the words and teachings of Jesus Christ. With Paul’s experiences in both Rome and Jerusalem, he was acknowledged as a leader by both sides. He can be seen as the reason for the church to spread out of Jerusalem and into other nations. Paul was able to bring together different Christian communities through a few separate journeys around Greece and Asia Minor. He also focused on the rules that are to be respected by the members of the church as well as bring the Greek and Jewish Christians together. In converting many individuals, one very tough question arose in the church. Many believed that Gentiles must become Jewish first in order to follow Christ. Paul did not agree with this and felt that this was unnecessary. The first council of the church met in 49 AD to discuss this matter. St Peter, having similar values as Paul, spoke in defense of the Gentiles saying: “And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us; and in cleansing their hearts by faith he has made no distinction between them and us”. Paul backed up Peter and they were able to win the debate for the Gentiles. This decision was extremely important in making the church into something that people from all around the world can follow. The church was now its own thing and no longer relied on the Jewish faith. Paul was definitely one of the most important leaders in the early years of the church. He is a major reason why the church is as important and large as it is today.
Aeneas is the most important character in The Aeneid by Virgil and serves as a great leader throughout the epic poem. He is the son of a Trojan named Anchises and the goddess of beauty, Venus. He was the leader of the Trojans in their quest to find a new city overseas after the Greeks ruined Troy. Aeneas is supposed to be the man who finds Rome: “They tossed on endless seas, went wandering / Fate-driven, year on year around the world’s seas / It cost so much to found the Roman nation”. This prophecy is the reason for all that Aeneas chooses to do for his fellow Trojans. When the Trojans arrived at the mouth of the Tiber River they were accepted by a man named Latinus who was a king in the area. Latinus’s wife and another man Turnus who lead the Rutuli were not as pleased with the Trojans venturing to their homeland. This conflict eventually leads to war. The Trojans end up winning the war and Turnus is taken down by Aeneas. Aeneas considers sparring Turnus’ life but is reminded of Pallas: “Then he saw on that tall body / The belt with shining studs his young friend Pallas / Had once worn. Turnus, who had cut him down / Displayed the hateful token on his shoulder”. Following this realization, Aeneas ends Turnus’ life: “Incensed, he thrust the sword through Turnus’ chest / His enemy’s body soon grew cold and helpless / While the indignant soul flew down to Hades”. He also gets married to the daughter of Latinus, Lavinia and together they found Lavinium. Aeneas proved himself to be a great leader throughout the epic poem. He cares for his people and wants them to have their own new civilization. He wants the best for his fellow Trojans and will not rest until they are satisfied. He also proves his ability as a tough warrior when he defeats the similarly skilled warrior that is Turnus. Aeneas truly embodies the virtue of leadership in The Aeneid.
These three men were all similarly great leaders while still having a few differences in their times and lives. Beowulf and Aeneas were both leaders who could be great warriors if necessary. They both also served as peaceful leaders who cared deeply for their people. They both serve as leaders of large groups of people. Beowulf leads the Geats and Aeneas leads the Trojans. They are also both able to take down their opponents. While Beowulf does get the best of three monster-like opponents, Aeneas is still able to defeat the skilled warrior that is Turnus. St. Paul was an integral part of the early church and helped spread the influence of the church to more areas than just Jerusalem. He was a peaceful leader similar to Beowulf’s time as king of the Geats. There was no point in Paul’s time as a leader of the church where he needed to act as a warrior. He was a leader for the people that were brought together by religion whereas Beowulf and Aeneas were leaders for the people of their homelands. Beowulf, St. Paul, and Aeneas lived lives as true leaders in their own individual environments.
While these men all lived in different times with their own unique circumstances, Beowulf, St. Paul, and Aeneas all similarly exhibited great leadership skills in their lives. Beowulf is able to show how great of a leader he is throughout the epic poem. He battles Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon. Beowulf decides to help out King Hrothgar of the Danes in taking down the monster Grendel. Beowulf, being the courageous leader and warrior that he is, is able to slay Grendel and end his reign of terror. Beowulf proves himself once again by defeating Grendel’s mother who is much larger than her son Grendel. His final duel is with a dragon who is terrorizing their land. The dragon is Beowulf’s greatest challenge in the whole poem and he ends up defeating this terrible dragon after it bites him. St. Paul is one of the greatest leaders in the history of the Catholic Church. He was a rabbi as well as a persecutor of Christians before Jesus spoke to him from heaven. After this happened to him, he became an apostle of Christ. He was able to bring various Christian communities together and help the church grow into what it is today. Aeneas serves as a great leader throughout the epic poem, The Aeneid. Aeneas leads the Trojans overseas to the area that would later become Rome in hopes of building them a whole new city. When war breaks out between the Trojans and the Italians in the area, Aeneas leads the Trojans to victory and slays Turnus of Rutuli. These three men were all similarly great leaders, but still had many differences in their lives. Beowulf and Aeneas were two leaders who were great in battle as warriors while also having a more peaceful side to them being men who care for their people. St. Paul served an important leadership role in the early church as an apostle. He helped spread the influence of the church around the world outside of just Jerusalem. Beowulf, St. Paul, and Aeneas truly embodied the virtue of leadership in each of their own lives.