In Beowulf, what are some external and internal conflicts that Beowulf faces?

1 Answer

literaturenerd's profile pic

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

Posted on

The epic of Beowulf illustrates both internal and external conflicts of the protagonist Beowulf. The external conflicts Beowulf faces are noted through his battles. He either takes part in or describes four different battles throughout the epic: Grendel, Grendel's mother, the Dragon, and the multiple sea monsters he fights during his swimming challenge with Brecca and on his swim down Grendel's mother's watery domain. 

As for his internal conflict, Beowulf conflict lies in his name. He is a renowned hero. His battles have been spoken of among multiple tribes. Therefore, in order to live up to his name, Beowulf must defeat Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the Dragon. If he fails, he will not be seen as the epic warrior and hero he is known to be.