Study Guide

Breca in Beowulf

By Unknown


Breca is a childhood friend of Beowulf's. Breca and Beowulf engage in a strange swimming contest where they take on the open sea while wearing full armor and carrying swords, supposedly to defend themselves from sea monsters. It's not entirely clear who wins this contest, although Unferth suggests that Breca actually beat Beowulf. Beowulf claims that he and Breca were shoulder-to-shoulder, equally matched when it came to the swimming part—but that he himself also killed nine sea monsters.