Beowulf Leadership Qualities

Submitted By megan1996
Words: 998
Pages: 4

Mr. Donnenwirth
British Literature
29 September 2013
Qualities of Effective Leaders There are many qualities of effective leaders. There are also many individuals and characters from British literature that help demonstrate those qualities or the lack of them. Beowulf from the epic of the same name, King Arthur from Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, and Malcolm from Shakespeare’s Macbeth all do a marvelous job of carrying out the qualities of being effective leaders; whereas, the character of Macbeth lacks many of the qualities of being a leader to people in general. Among these qualities of effective leaders are being trustworthy, honorable, and courageous. Beowulf has the effective qualities of being trustworthy, honorable and courageous. He is often referred to as a hero. Beowulf went and fought against the loathsome monster Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon to protect the King and the Danes when no one else seemed to have the courage or strength to do so. He was known as “the strongest of the Geats- greater And stronger than anyone anywhere in this world” (The Beowulf Poet 42). He suffered from affliction throughout each battle but he never backed down even when all of his men quit and left him to face his last battle alone. After Beowulf’s death, the Geats built a monument as tall as they were able in order to praise him “for heroic deeds, for a life As noble as his name” (The Beowulf Poet 66). Beowulf was a great leader that filled the needs of his people by showing effective qualities. King Arthur was also a leader that showed effective qualities in Le Morte d’ Arthur. King Arthur was noble and did everything he could to protect his land and his people. He also led his army through the battles fearlessly and only cried out at the end because of the deaths of his followers; he would of rather it been himself, showing trust: “I would prefer that I myself had fallen”(Malory 254). Even after each battle he would search for his people and “many volunteers from all parts of the country came to fight under his flag.”(Malory 253), showing he was trustworthy and honorable because people came to help fight for him and his army. King Arthur was known and portrayed as a very personable character in this piece of British Literature, which also is a good quality to obtain as a leader of people. He was a very courageous and honorable individual to the people he was responsible for. King Arthur did exemplify the effective qualities of being a leader. Macbeth on the other hand showed the extreme opposite of having the effective qualities of a leader. At first he did not seem like he was going to fall down the wrong path, but he was soon to be convinced that power over throws every other quality. Macbeth committed murder to become a leader, but he did not only kill the most important person (King Duncan), he purged anyone and everyone that might get in the way of him taking over power. He invited Duncan to his home to stay and instead of protecting his King he killed him and even though he had second thoughts of it, he was powerless and let his wife talk him into doing so. She chastised his manhood, stating, “What beast was’t, then, / That made you break this enterprise to me? / When you durst do it, then you were a man” (Shakespeare I.vii.46-48). Macbeth then became unsteady of the mind which makes him less of trustworthy because his guilty conscious was getting the best of him: “I’ll go no more. / I am afraid to think what I have done. / Look on ‘t again I dare not”(Shakespeare II.ii.48-50). He then begins to kill people to cover all the tracks he has made, but does not succeed. Eventually, Macbeth realizes that he is no longer honorable and has nothing to look forward to after his wife committed suicide. He is then sought out to be murdered for being such the infamous