The treatment of Pride in British Literature from Beowulf to Macbeth

The treatment of Pride in British Literature from Beowulf to Macbeth. Different British Literatures represent Pride in a variety of ways. Such as in Beowulf they represent Pride in where the only way to gain pride is becoming a warrior and seeking fame through strength, having bravery in the face of danger, and to scorn death and as well boasting about their accomplishments. Also in Macbeth Pride is shown and represented on how Macbeth was a good person until his wife made him kill someone, and once he killed someone he had started killing more people because of his ambition and Pride. Other examples would be, “Everyman”, “The Seafarer”, “New Advent”, “Germanic or Saxon Christianity”.
The Anglo Saxons believed that pride is determined by one’s success in life. The warriors who fought in battle and were successful had very much pride in themselves for their accomplishment. The strongest and most successful warriors were picked to be leaders. The leaders were the best of the best they had the most pride of all the warriors. This type of Pride is throughout the epic Beowulf for example, Beowulf’s fight with Grendel and the result was Beowulf winning causing Beowulf to gain and his reputation as a warrior. After he killing Grendel when no other man could Beowulf was immediately named the hero of the people. Beowulf’s pride and also respect increasingly gained after his clash with Grendel. Beowulf wanted nothing but pride from the people he says “My lord Higlac/ might think less of me if I let my sword/ Go where my feet are afraid to/ My hands/ Alone shall fight for me” (169-174) he said this when he was going to fight grendel because he does not want anyone to belittle his achievement when he defeats Grendel. With Anglo Saxons belief he had already proven his worth by defeating Grendel. Beowulf had an obligation to help King Hrothgar because of the blood-debt of his father which causes him to hunt for Grendel’s mother. Another reason would be for him to gain pride and more achievements, because the people say “Seek it, if you dare!/ Heaped-up ancient treasure, will reward you/ For the battle you win!” (446-449). This is saying if he defeats Grendel’s mother he will receive and award with an addition, Beowulf’s pride and respect would drastically increase in him defeating Grendel’s mother. When Beowulf began to fight Grendel he realized she is more powerful than him. In the Anglo Saxons belief Beowulf would prefer to fight Grendel’s mother with his bare hands, but she was much more powerful. Then Beowulf was forced to using the enchanted sword forged by giants to kill Grendel’s mother. Despite using a weapon to defeat Grendel’s mother, Beowulf’s pride still increased due to his victory against Grendel’s mother. This one way pride is represented and shown in British Literature.