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  1. May 2023
    1. III Thus seethed[1] unceasing the son of Healfdene 190with the woe of these days; not wisest men assuaged his sorrow; too sore the anguish, loathly and long, that lay on his folk, most baneful of burdens and bales of the night. This heard in his home Hygelac’s thane, 195great among Geats, of Grendel’s doings. He was the mightiest man of valor in that same day of this our life, stalwart and stately. A stout wave-walker he bade make ready.[2] Yon battle-king, said he, 200far o’er the swan-road he fain would seek, the noble monarch who needed men! The prince’s journey by prudent folk was little blamed, though they loved him dear; they whetted the hero, and hailed good omens.[3] 205And now the bold one from bands of Geats comrades chose, the keenest of warriors e’er he could find; with fourteen men[4] the sea-wood[5] he sought, and, sailor[6] proved, led them on to the land’s confines. 210⁠Time had now flown;[7] afloat was the ship, boat under bluff. On board they climbed, warriors ready; waves were churning sea with sand; the sailors bore on the breast of the bark their bright array, 215their mail and weapons: the men pushed off, on its willing way, the well-braced craft. Then moved o’er the waters by might of the wind that bark like a bird with breast of foam, till in season due, on the second day, 220the curved prow such course had run that sailors now could see the land, sea-cliffs shining, steep high hills, headlands broad. Their haven was found, their journey ended. Up then quickly 225the Weders’[8] clansmen climbed ashore, anchored their sea-wood, with armor clashing and gear of battle: God they thanked for passing in peace o’er the paths of the sea. ⁠Now saw from the cliff a Scylding clansman, 230a warden[9] that watched the water-side, how they bore o’er the gangway glittering shields, war-gear in readiness; wonder seized him to know what manner of men they were. Straight to the strand his steed he rode, 235Hrothgar’s henchman; with hand of might he shook his spear,[10] and spake in parley. “Who are ye, then, ye arméd men, mailéd folk, that yon mighty vessel have urged thus over the ocean ways, 240here o’er the waters? A warden I, sentinel set o’er the sea-march here, lest any foe to the folk of Danes with harrying fleet should harm the land. No aliens ever at ease thus bore them, 245linden-wielders:[11] yet word-of-leave clearly ye lack from clansmen here, my folk’s agreement.—A greater ne’er saw I of warriors in world than is one of you,— yon hero in harness! No henchman he 250worthied by weapons, if witness his features, his peerless presence! I pray you, though, tell your folk and home, lest hence ye fare suspect to wander your way as spies in Danish land. Now, dwellers afar, 255ocean-travellers, take from me simple advice: the sooner the better I hear of the country whence ye came.”

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      Title: Gender Roles and Heroic Constructs in Beowulf: Chapter III

      Beowulf's valor and his reputation as the "mightiest man of valor" highlight the significance placed on masculine strength and courage in defining the hero (llI 196). The portrayal of Beowulf as a "stout wave-walker" and his readiness to embark on a perilous journey reflect the expectations of heroic masculinity. These descriptions emphasize physical attributes and reinforce the notion that heroism is closely tied to male prowess and to their worth as a person.

      The text also subtly implies a supportive and trusting relationship between Beowulf and his community. The phrase "though they loved him dear" suggests that his decision to undertake the quest receives little criticism or opposition (III, 203). This acceptance aligns with the cultural expectation that heroes, particularly male heroes, are duty-bound to undertake perilous missions to protect and aid their communities. It reinforces the idea that heroism is not only about individual strength but also about the support and recognition of the larger social group.

      The linguistic value of the text is preserved through its evocative descriptions and poetic devices. The use of alliteration, such as "mighty vessel," "sea with sand," and "well-braced craft," creates a rhythmic and vivid reading experience (llI 212-216). This poetic quality enhances the narrative and contributes to the oral tradition of the poem, allowing the audience to engage with the story on multiple levels.

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