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Beowulf is not the warrior he used to be; instead, he resembles the now-dead Hrothgar. Once he needed only his bare hands to defeat an enemy; now he needs a pilfered sword and a large shield. Once he relished a battle; now he wishes he didn't have to fight. Once he knew victory was certain; now the only thing certain is death. The narrator clearly represents the change in men between youth and old age.