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Word Count: 717
The Humanness of Mistakes It has often been said that To error is human As a human race we are prone to mistakes They are essentially what separates us from the divine and define our humanness Hrothgar best illustrates humanism in these regards within the epic Beowulf Hrothgars characteristics as a king especially in regard to his short-comings and inequalities compared to Beowulf provide the quintessential matter for the reader to identify with Hrothgar on a human level throughout the majority of the epic This humanistic comparison between reader and character can not be made with Beowulf until the last section of the epic It is not until Beowulf is an aged ruler nearing the end of his days that his human characteristics emerge allowing the reader to associate with the epics hero on a human plane Hrothgars inequalities to Beowulf are illustrated from the onset of the poems description of the two characters Upon Beowulfs first arrival to the Shieldings land he is immediately described as possessing characteristics that surpass those of Hrothgar Wulfgar describes Beowulf saying Nor have I seen a mightier man-at-arms on this earth than the one standing here unless I am mistaken he is truly noble Beowulf 247-250 Wulfgars description makes immediate reference to his king Hrothgar weather unintentionally or not Even Wulfgar a Wendel chief renowned as a warrior Beowulf 347-349 overlooks Hrothgars characteristics as a nobleman and describes Beowulf as Hrothgars superior in war and stature Beowulf is immediately portrayed as a divine figure to which the reader cannot associate himself This is a notion that is only further exemplified as the epic unfolds and Beowulfs ability as a warrior and ruler are continuously magnified beyond a human level beyond Hrothgars level Hrothgars description is less sensationalized than that of Beowulf The author portrays Hrothgar as magnificent ruler in nearly all aspects beginning with the story of Hrothgars erection of Heorot and the magnificence it entailed Hrothgars
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