Characterization Far in the past: ▫“‘You killed your own kith and kin.’” (587) ▫Untrustworthy, betrayer To Beowulf, in attempt to defame him: ▫“‘No matter, therefore, how you may have fared in every bout and battle until now, this time you’ll be worsted…’” (525-527) ▫Prideful butt
Characterization (cont.) After the defeat of Grendel: ▫“There was less tampering and big talk then from Unferth the boaster, less of his blather as the hall- thanes eyed the awful proof of the hero’s prowess.” (979-982) ▫Humbled only by great means Before the battle with Gendel’s Mother: ▫“…the brehon handed him a hilted weapon, a rare and ancient sword named Hrunting.” (1457-1458) “…he lent that blade to the better swordsman.” (1465) ▫Willing to give to the altogether cause, so not the worst bloke ever
Imagery “He could not brook or abide the fact that anyone else alive under heaven might enjoy greater regard than he did.” (503-505) “You killed your own kith and kin” (587) “Under a cloud for killing his brothers” (1166) “He was not man enough to face the turmoil of the fight underwater and the risk to his life” (1468-1470) Altogether, a negatively viewed character
Symbolism Unferth ▫Sin “[He] killed [his] own kith and kin.” (587) ▫Pride and Envy “…he could not brook or abide the fact that anyone alive under heaven might enjoy greater regard than he did.”
Tone NEGATIVE; Bad person ▫“[He] killed [his] own kith and kin.” (587) ▫Sought Beowulf’s defamation: “It was sheer vanity made you venture out…the sea-test obsessed you. …So Breca made good his boast upon you.” (509-524)
Tone (cont.) Seeks dominance above all other men until proven the lesser man; very prideful ▫“Unferth…spoke contrary words. Beowulf’s coming, his sea braving, made him sick with envy: he could not brook or abide the fact that anyone alive under heaven might enjoy greater regard than he did.” (500-505) ▫“…He lent that blade to the better swordsman, Unferth…could hardly have remembered the ranting speech he had made in his cups.” (1465- 1468)
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