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Unformatted text preview: One of Hrothgar's top retainers, Unferth, interrupts the celebration to insult Beowulf and challenge his reputation. When Beowulf was a youth, apparently during his adolescence, he engaged in a swimming match on the open sea with another boy, 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. If Beowulf couldn't win a swimming match, Unferth concludes, then he is surely no match for Grendel, who, in addition to presenting formidable physical challenge, lives in a lake or at the bottom of a lake. Swimming may prove essential if Beowulf is forced to pursue the enemy. Beowulf's response to Unferth reveals a good deal about the hero's noble character and is a remarkable example of rhetoric as well as poetic imagery. Beowulf's response is composed and in remarkable example of rhetoric as well as poetic imagery....
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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.
- Fall '09