Beowulf in exile.
From the time we are born into the world, we join a collective of "se anhagas*," the lonely ones. For some of us, loneliness is not apparent, especially if we are surrounded by loving friends and family, "cynnred*." But for others of us, even the presense of loyal "cynnred" is not enough.
Beowulf's exile centered around his self worth. Even with all his strength and glory, he realized he was alone underneath his success as a warrior. Even if surrounded by glory and wealth, the greatest warrior cannot stand on pride alone. Beowulf, having defeated Grendel and Grendel's mother, having become a beloved lord, realizes that death is that time when he will be alone without kin, his pride and glory amounting to nothing when the dying time comes.
Hrothgar had already warned Beowulf of the harm of pride. Pride blocked a man's true understanding of his purpose on earth as a follower of God. To receive the salvation of God, a man's pride is worthless. Beowulf speaks of this in the Lay of the Last Survivor. "I am left with nobody/ to bear a sword or to burnish plated goblets." Beowulf understands that the power of the sword and the value of gold are as good as dust when it comes to the time he will be alone, faced with death. "And so he mourned as he moved about the world/ deserted and alone, lamenting his unhappiness/ day and night, until death's flood/ brimmed up in his heart."
All his life, Beowulf had undertaken glorious battles. He was in every sense an accomplished man, the sort of man that many were envious of and in awe of. But his fate differed none from any other man. All humans have a beginning and an end. We are born alone and die alone. The things we collect in the middle do not matter. Beowulf hurts from the thought of the final exile- meeting death. What desires can be had from Beowulf, who had everything but knew he had nothing? Again, the exile to God's kingdom was the only lasting hope for Beowulf. On earth, we are all alone.
This is an excerpt from a paper I wrote for my English class - Node your homework. The words next to the asterisk are Old English.