Beowulf vs. Beowulf. This essay goes into detail about who Beowulfs real enemy is.

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As one nears the end of Beowulf, it becomes clear that Beowulf's real enemy is not some monster lurking in the murky waters of the sea, nor a vengeful mother wanting to defend her murderous son's death, and especially not some fire breathing dragon waiting in the dark shadows of a cave. Many persons or things seem to be causes of Beowulf's death. However, if we were to closely examine the entirety of the legend, …

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…There is always something that is bigger and better (What's bigger and better than a dragon anyway). But the dragon is not the enemy...had Beowulf not strived to be the finest warrior of his time, he would not have placed himself in such a situation. If one's worst enemy is the only thing that eliminates one; then loyalty was the start of his descent, and the end; and now it has become his undoing.