Hrothgar quietly begins by praising Beowulf but quickly follows with a warning. If a leader is not careful, God's gifts can lead him to vanity. The Danes' chief example of a gifted king gone wrong is Heremod, who not only failed to treat his people generously but actually killed other Danes in his own hall, a sin of unpardonable proportion in the world of the comitatus, the honor code binding a ruler to his thanes.Among other sins, Heremod indulged in hubris, an overwhelming pride or arrogance that leads to outrageous behavior. He lived a joyless life and justifiably suffered for the damage that he brought to his people.From that example, Hrothgar generalizes about all of those who benefit from God's gifts. Only the wise and mature realize that all glory is fleeting. God will allow a "high-born heart [to] travel far in delight" (1729); one day, however, it will fall. A fool grows in his arrogance and thinks he is invincible,
This is the end of the preview.
access the rest of the document.