In the epic poem Beowulf, the protagonist, Beowulf, faces three “monsters” at different times in his life. The poem begins with Grendel, a monster who attacks only in the dark of night, tormenting the kingdom of Hrothgar. The last two sections of the epic detail the conquering by Beowulf of Grendel’s mother and the dragon. The battle between the monsters and Beowulf represent the theme of good versus evil in the poem, as well as the fusion of pagan and Christian ideals in the changing Germanic society. Grendel’s mother’s actions directly juxtapose the role of a woman in this time period, and the greediness of the dragon with his treasure contrasts with the virtues of what would be considered a good king.
In “Beowulf,” there are many concepts of good and evil portrayed in the epic poem by an unknown author. Beowulf brings good to the Geats. The people would say he was a gift from the Gods to battle and demolish the evil. The monsters, however, cause trouble to the people and bring out the evil in everything. These elements of good and evil help define this an epic poem.
Years and years ago, many qualities could be found in warriors that are still prevalent today both in the present and past world. In “Mulan”, Fa Mulan from China is a very courageous woman. Defending her people and ,ultimately, saving her people despite the fact that she is a woman and could be killed if her secret were ever found out. Chris Mintz, a former 30 year old Army infantryman, threw himself into harms way, taking seven bullets, and surviving the encounter. Beowulf, from Scandinavia, held a great deal of pride without too much arrogance. He withheld his strength, unless necessary, and with time, grew the loyalty, courage, and faith warriors have today.
Everyone has a perspective on good and evil; the battle line between good and even runs through the heart. “Beowulf” illuminates characters that come from dark and deep backgrounds that construct their dauntless actions. In the heroic tale “Beowulf,” the author’s tones strongly demonstrates themes of loyalty, honor, and courage.
This is shown whenever Beowulf meets Hrothgar for the first time. Beowulf goes to introduce himself to the king, but Hrothgar immediately recognizes him and replies, saying he knew him when he was younger and knew his father and relatives. Hrothgar then recounts stories his men told him about Beowulf. Hrothgar states how they said Beowulf has “the strength of thirty in the grip of each hand.” (lns. 380-381) Beowulf’s epicness is also shown whenever Unferth calls him out on the swimming competition he lost when he was younger. Beowulf bounces back by telling Unferth how he was the best swimmer and he had lost because he was wearing armor and brandishing a sword. Furthermore, Beowulf tells of how he slayed nine sea monsters on the five day swim and he prevailed from every one of them just fine. These tales show how Beowulf’s past actions impressed the people around him and word of him spread to many of the surrounding
In today’s society, anybody can be considered a hero. A hero is a selfless person who is admired for their courageous achievements. A mother, celebrity, or even a mailman can be a hero to someone. In Beowulf, the epic poem translated by Burton Raffel, Beowulf is recognized as a hero who craves too much glory. In today’s world, Beowulf is viewed as an irrelevant hero since he displays poor qualities of arrogance and selfishness.
The epic poem “Beowulf”, translated by Burton Raffel, focuses on a hero by the name of Beowulf who goes on a quest to rescue King Hrothgar and his people from an egregious monster by the name of Grendel. This Anglo-Saxon tale gives insight into the values and beliefs of the people from whom the story originated. Their war-centered ideology and views on loyalty and courage were the principles that the Anglo-Saxon culture was founded upon. While warfare was a focal point in their lifestyle, it was far from a savage, barbaric state of fighting. Honor and prestige were bestowed upon those who died during battle and selflessness for fellow warriors was a fundamental belief. Boasting and self-possession were another common custom of the Anglo-Saxons. (“Anglo-Saxon Warfare Group”). Beowulf represents a quintessential Anglo-Saxon hero through his confident poise, his willingness for self-sacrifice, and his tenacity through near-impossible odds.
Beowulf is known as a great hero and on the surface he is. He seems to be brave and just but underneath that, Beowulf is extremely arrogant and egotistical. Beowulf does not just do things for they are the right thing to do, he does them seeing that great deeds will bring him honor and boost his reputation. He fights Grendel for bragging rights like the swimming contest Unferth brought up and he refuses to use a sword when fighting Grendel because it will just add to his bravery. Even if we take into the time period in which it was written, Beowulf is not the shining hero he
“...So massive no ordinary man could lift its carved and decorated length. He drew it from its scabbard, broke the chain on its hilt, and then, savage, now, angry and desperate, lifted it high over his head and struck with all the strength he had left, caught her in the neck and cut it through, broke bones and all….” Pg72. With ancient understandings and tales in the early times, Beowulf sings of times long forgotten, the times where the only tombs men sought was the battlefield, and their legacies, glory from the most extraordinary of feats. Eras filled with monsters, demons and selfless devotion towards the Glory of God.
Chivalry is a code of conduct associated with the medieval institution of knighthood which developed between 1170 and 1220. Between this time period many authors wrote about knights and warriors and how they represented the values of being loyal, courageous and their willingness to give one’s life for another or in other words being a chivalrous warrior. Some examples of these tales are Beowulf and Le Morte d’Arthur. Beowulf and Wiglaf from Beowulf and King Arthur from Le Morte d’Arthur each have two examples of them reflecting the values of being a chivalrous warrior.
Beowulf’s honor and integrity can be questioned throughout the entirety of the epic poem, Beowulf. Whether or not his actions are inspired by his own pompous arrogance or confidence, one can argue that he is a hero nonetheless. Evidence and experience prove that Beowulf is more of a fearless hero than an excessively prideful man, and his hubris is more than justified due to the formidable duties he is able to execute.
Mythological or Archetypal philosophy has been around for centuries and is used across numerous cultures. Carl Jung, a close colleague of Sigmund Freud, defined the word archetype as “a figure...that repeats itself in the course of history wherever creative fantasy is fully manifested.” Archetypes can come in various forms: characters, images, and situations. Though many different forms of archetypes appear in the tale of Beowulf, specifically, the archetypal character roles of the hero and the outcast are major aspects of the story.
When first reading Beowulf it would appear that the Christian references within it superimpose onto the essentially pagan view that makes a huge body of the poem. Therefore, within this assignment, there will be investigations of inconsistencies. Sources clearly show that Beowulf was written by Germanic pagans that had been debauched by some leftist ecclesiastic wordsmith , to the insistence that the author designedly created the Christian allegory along the lines of Book 1 of The Faerie Queen.
Near the end of his life as a king, Beowulf found that his citizens were being terrorized by a dragon. Although he was old and grizzled, the king took it on in battle. He showed tremendous courage even when knowing the odds were not in his favor. Previously, during his time in Denmark, Beowulf killed Grendel’s mother with the sword made for a giant. This showed his superhuman strength because as an ordinary human being Beowulf was able to handle and control the giant’s sword. In an earlier battle, Beowulf was able to once again exhibit his enormous strength by single handedly tearing off the arm of an enemy giant, Grendel. Lastly, before all of the battles, Beowulf displays his extreme intelligence. After being unjustly embarrassed by Unferth, Beowulf decided to reply in a civil manner. In his reply, he accurately refuted all of Unferth’s claims and turns the embarrassment on him. By responding cordially, he was able to dissolve any potential tension between the Geats and Danes.