Beowulf says: "The fact is, Unferth, if you were truly as keen and courageous as you claim to be Grendel would never have got away with such unchecked atrocity." Oftentimes, storytellers will add a foil into the mix of characters. In this example of epithet from the Old English epic Beowulf, the hero Beowulf has just entered the hall of King Hrothgar to request permission to fight the monster Grendel. Unferth is his name. There are many differences between the two characters that portray Unferth as a foil even greater than the monster Grendel. Works Cited "foil." Unferth As a Foil. … Fortunately for the Dane, Beowulf demonstrates a noble spirit as well as ease with language as he refutes the charge and puts Unferth in his place. As we read these lines, we realize that it's not enough to know that someone else may be exaggerating their claims to fame—if you don't have any claims to fame of your own, you don't have any place from which to speak. However there is one character in the poem that is the antagonist to Beowulf. Where Unferth is rude and accusatory and boastful, Beowulf is collected and reasonable and explains what really happened in the incident with Brecca. At first glance, Unferth's sudden act of generosity towards Beowulf appears to have been done for noble reasons. The passing of Hrunting from Unferth's hand to Beowulf is therefore a reflection of Unferth's treachery as he abandons his role as a warrior of Heorot. How does Unferth serve as a foil to Beowulf? Unferth in Beowulf : In the Old English narrative poem Beowulf , the title character is a mighty Norse warrior who defeats three monsters. Unferth is a foil to Beowulf and demonstrates un-heroic behavior while Wiglaf carries on the traditions of heroism. The American Heritage Dictionary. Unferth acts as a kind of foil to Beowulf. Unferth is boastful, just as Beowulf is, but unlike Beowulf Unferth lacks the moral courage to back up his boasts (and unlike Beowulf Unferth never does anything to stand against Grendel). It can be said that Beowulf exemplifies the traits of a near perfect hero. Unferth embodies everything opposite about Beowulf. Unferth accuses Beowulf, as a lad, of entering a dangerous, foolish seven-night swimming match on the open sea against a boy named Breca — and losing. Additionally, Sir Gawain's guide is an important figure in the story because he guides Sir Gawain to the Green Chapel where one of the most pivotal scenes occurs and figures as another tempter in a tale about temptation.