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Loyalty A theme in a literary work is a recurring, unifying subject or idea, a motif that allows us to understand more deeply the character and their world.
In his final test, the burden of loyalty will rest on other, younger shoulders.
Preparing for his last battle, with the fiery dragon, Beowulf puts his trust in 11 of his finest men, retainers who have vowed to fight to the death for him.
At every step of his career, loyalty is Beowulf's guiding virtue.
Beowulf comes to the assistance of the Danes (Scyldings) for complicated reasons.
Although the now elderly king insists on taking on the dragon alone, he brings along the 11 in case he needs them.
When it is apparent that Beowulf is losing the battle to the dragon, however, all but one of his men run and hide in the woods.
In Beowulf, the major themes reflect the values and the motivations of the characters.
One of the central themes of Beowulf, embodied by its title character, is loyalty.