What is the relationship between individual prowess and ethical virtue in Beowulf?© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 10, 2019, 4:43 am ad1c9bdddf
Because of the key role of loyalty to one's tribe, family, and community, a man was expected to act bravely as a warrior to exhibit his individual skills and prowess for defense purposes. However, there was a fine line between showing prowess and attempting to gain fame, which was cautioned against ethically.
As in this quote, Beowulf's success at honoring his community and God, his ethical compass, was aligned to his displays of prowess:
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Some textual examples of individual prowess and ethical virtue in Beowulf are exemplified.