who is unferth? and why is he so hostile to beowulf?

why is he allowed to speak that way?

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A thane of Hrothgar's, he taunts Beowulf in the hall about his swimming contest with Breca. However, Beowulf shames him in the boasting match. His name means "discord." Unferth is a warrior in the tribe of the Spear-Danes. He seems to be a tad jealous of Beowulf. He is a tough warrior and somewhat revered for his ruthless exploits which gives him clout enough to question Beowulf.