Which episode of Beowulf was the most thrilling and why?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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I assume that by episode you are referring to the chapters of the text of Beowulf. Some versions of the epic text have been broken down into episodes by its translators. For example, one version of Beowulf possesses twelve episodes (as translated/adapted by David Breeden). 

The naming of one episode being more thrilling than another is subjective (based upon one's personal opinion). For me, I believe that episode four is the most thrilling. In this episode, Grendel faces Beowulf. It is in this episode that Beowulf proves his intent to fight Grendel without weapons or armor (in order to maintain his aristeia (the hero's finest moment in battle) and arete (excellence)). Beowulf's battle boast to fight equally illustrates his true heroic nature. It is here where Beowulf's actions speak louder than his words. 

This proves to be the most thrilling based upon the importance of one's faith. Not only does Beowulf state that he will destroy Grendel, he does so with the help of God and his God-given strength. Beowulf knows that he will only win if the victory is supported by God. Beowulf's actions, the shedding of weapons and armor, prove to be worthy of God's support. 


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