As seen in chapter six of Beowulf, Beowulf declares his exploits as part of his introduction to Hrothgar.  What do his exploits suggest about his character?

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter six of Beowulf provides Beowulf's introduction of himself to Hrothgar (king of the Danes). During this introduction, Beowulf tells Hrothgar about all of the challenges and victories he has has in order to support his renown. Beowulf tells Hrothgar about bloody battles with men, giants and beasts. In every battle, Beowulf emerged victorious.  While some may interpret this laundry list of victories as Beowulf's lack of humility, another interpretation can be proven.

Beowulf is in the Danelands to help Hrothgar rid his country of evil (specifically, Grendel). In order to prove his ability, Beowulf tells Hrothgar about all of the trials and challenges he has faced. With each of these challenges, Beowulf's foes found themselves "witnesses" of their own demise as they saw Beowulf "flecked" with their blood.

Therefore, although some would say that this introduction proved Beowulf's character to lack humility and humbleness, it actually proves his confidence and ability.

slauritzen | Student
He is confident in what he has done and certainly not humble. He talks about his victories in battle to show he has been successful before and can be again. If you include the "boast" as what comes out of his argument with Unferth, you also see that he admits to having been foolish in his youth. This is almost the only time we seem an inkling of anything less than perfection in the first 2/3 of the epic.