Friday, February 4, 2011

Option 1- Letter from Unferth to Beowulf

Dear Beowulf,
Upon your arrival I was skeptical about an outsider coming to defend our land and people against our villain, Grendel. While in heorot that first night upon your arrival as i spoke about your ordeal with Breca in the sea I was taken aback with how well you defended your story and proved your true strength. It wasn't until after that did I realize that you were truly worthy of defending our kingdom against Grendel. I know that I may have offended you upon that first meeting, but it was because I was jealous of the strength and courage you were known to have. I did respect you for the way you handled my attack on your battle in the sea, despite how you proved to me that I was willing to murder my kin and that I was awaiting the depths of hell. I admire you for fighting Grendel with no weapons or armor; that showed your true strength and willingness to compensate for the situation. Although I felt threatened by your arrival and then by Hrothgar inviting you into his family, I saw your strength and achievements as a standard for myself to reach towards. By me lending you my sword, Hrunting, for your fight against Grendel's mother I hoped that you would see me as a friend and no longer a threat to your strength and goodness.


  1. • Although you fulfilled the requirement to write a letter from the point of view of a “minor” character in Beowulf: Unferth
    • Your expansion on the incidence of Unferth’s strike to Beowulf’s legitimacy, his fight with Grendel, and how he gave Beowulf Hrunting could have been elaborated a little bit more
    • Meaning, for each incident you could have provided Unferth’s deeper thoughts or views
    • Also, to add some bulk to this essay you could have, after the beginning letter, wrote an entry into Unferth’s diary explaining how he actually feels Towards Beowulf and each incident: For example, how Beowulf’s near perfection and warrior status makes Unferth deeply jealous and threatened etc…
    • However, I think overall you were headed in the right direction, just a little more was need to really get the full effect of things

  2. Luis is very good at bringing up the central issue here in a circumspect way - I'll be more direct. This is so short that whatever ideas you have about Unferth's character don't really get any chance of development, so you're left with just stating what are fairly obvious and straightforward points about his relationship with Beowulf - especially given that we talked about a lot of this stuff. These essays are about advancing your own interesting ideas - you may have ideas here, but they're very visible, because of the complete absence of development.