At first glance, the poem "Unferth's Challenge" looks general to the reader to comprehend; it, therefore, attracts the fullness of commitment to understand how the antagonist Beowulf and the protagonist Unferth accuse one another. The poem appears to be describing an oratory contest that existed between Unferth and Beowulf in regards to who helped the people of Hrothgar by fighting grades and compatriot monsters. Upon closer examination, it is evident from the poem how Beowulf fought the monster and tells Unferth that in some ways that he could not have completed the war by himself to save the people. Evidently, Unferth tried to undermine Beowulf unjustly. Unferth was a warrior; he represented the people of spear-Danes in the fight to restore peace to the community from the monsters who constantly attacked the people of Hrothgar. He boasts and claims about himself. You are Beowulf, are you- the same boastful fool who fought a swimming match with Brecca (240-242). His boastfulness is replete with his speech as Unferth tries to undermine Beowulf. He only suggests that Beowulf cannot stage a war with the monster and chase them, he cites the fight in the sea to which has no significance to the people of Hrothgar.
The first stanzas of the poem are full of teasing that Unferth label against his compatriot. "Come, Unferth, jump higher. You cannot be a good warrior because you cannot jump well" (515). This was the Ecgwald testing as he pulls the sword out of reach each time Unferth jump. It is evident that in the poem, there is the war of words between unferth and Beowulf regarding who rescued the people when Grendel the monster attacked them. As much as Unferth claims that he is the one that fought Grendel, Beowulf does not label the claims on him but leaves the people to claim themselves. Unferth is contemptuous and even declare to Beowulf that he could not have wedge the fight because he even did not defeat Brecca during the swimming contest. Politely, Beowulf is seen correcting Unferth in during the war of words while at the same time do not claim to have defeated Brecca. This suggests nonetheless elicits some thought that the claims of Unferth might hold some truth about the details. In contrast, Beowulf is returning his knife while reminding Unferth he had that time to fight Grendel but did not defeat him, so he has no place to talk and convince the people over the fight he was not willing to take. Beowulf typical talk confirms that Unferth did not have an impact on the fleeing of Grendel. "Truth I claim it, that I had more of might in the sea than any man else, more ocean-endurance" (535)/"the fact remains, Unferth, if it happened that truly you are a keen and courageous the way you claim, then Grandel would not have got away with unchecked atrocity".
By reading at the lines of the claim that were made by Beowulf, it is important to realize that it was not enough to know someone else may have exaggerated the claims to the fact that there was a need for fame. That is, if you do not have any claims to your fame, then you did not have any place from which one could speak. It is however not precisely true that Unferth did not have any claims as to give him the fame he claimed, he was known for killing his brothers. "...and Unferth being known by all his friends due to his courage, he reclined the king" (164). Beowulf reminded Unferth that he killed his kith and kin. (587) In a warrior culture that is based on relationship and bonds of loyalty among the tribes, families, and clans killing a brother I seen as one of the worst crimes. This makes Unferth be an example of everything none other than the medieval tribesman. Despite the negative attributes and qualities labeled on Unferth, the narrator gives credit to where it is due. It is realized that Unferth is clever and generous since he lends his sword to Beowulf for fighting Grendel's mother.
Overly, Beowulf articulate and heap praise on the things that he achieved as well as how he entered the battlefield to outdo the monsters. He even says how he threw himself into the war with a naked sword as they saw along and wafted by the waves of the sea as they guard themselves against the whales. "Together we twain on the abodes of the tides for five nights till the flood divided them" (545). From the conversation of the two, it is evident that Beowulf could have emerged the winner of the challenge. While keenly analyzing the context of the discussion, Unferth is scared of Beowulf even though the reader cannot belittle Unferth. He was A real warrior, but he failed o had helped his people at the time when they were struck by Grendel.
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Beowulf Win the (Flyting) in Unferth's Challenge - Literary Essay Sample. (2022, Mar 09). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/beowulf-win-the-flyting-in-unferths-challenge
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