A more important reason for coming to Hrothgar

A more important reason for coming to Hrothgar -...

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A more important reason for coming to Hrothgar's aid is directly related to a family debt. Years  before, Hrothgar sheltered Beowulf's father, Ecgtheow, from a dangerous feud and purchased a  settlement of the conflict with the Geat's enemies, a procedure incorporating  wergild  (man-payment  or man-worth). Beowulf has come to repay Hrothgar's generosity. At a banquet in the Geats' honor on the first day of their visit, a drunken, jealous Dane named  Unferth challenges Beowulf's reputation. When Beowulf was an adolescent, he engaged in a  swimming match on the open sea with another boy, a royal member of the Brondings tribe named  Breca. Unferth asserts that Beowulf was vain and foolish to enter such a dangerous contest and that  Breca proved the stronger, defeating Beowulf in seven nights. Unferth's point is that, if the Geat  could not win that swimming match, he is surely no match for Grendel.
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course ENG 1320 taught by Professor Bost during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.

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