In "Beowulf," what does Beowulf's speech to King Hrothgar reveal about his personality?

In "Beowulf," what does Beowulf's speech to King Hrothgar reveal about his personality?

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Let's look at the section beginning around line 370. At this point in the poem, Hrothgar explains to his gathered company that he knew Beowulf as a boy, and his father too; he explains that Beowulf has arrived with his company to help them resist "Grendles gryre," or the terror of Grendel. He also mentions that Beowulf's great strength is renowned and asks that Beowulf should be invited into the hall.

The speech Beowulf makes upon entering the hall may seem, to the modern eye, rather boastful, but in the context of the time, Beowulf is simply obeying social customs in setting out his purpose for being here and justifying his usefulness in this matter. First, Beowulf establishes his ancestry—he is Hygelace's kinsman and retainer. He also explains that the exploits of Grendel have become well known in his country, and that it has been suggested that he should pit his strength against Grendel. Beowulf's descriptions of his own great feats are not intended to be prideful or to arouse the...

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