Student Teacher Class Date Is Beowulf a Representation of Anglo-Saxon Literature? Beowulf is known as a turning point in literary history and is one of the most famous Anglo-Saxon pieces of literature. The name Beowulf brings up images of a powerful warrior battling fearsome monsters. But does the character of the fictional warrior Beowulf give us insight into the real moral values of the Anglo-Saxon people? By analyzing the traits that Beowulf shows, we can see what kind of person the Anglo-Saxons considered to be a hero.
Beowulf: Following The Heroic Code Beowulf is the oldest work of literature recorded in the English language. In fact, if you tried to read the poem in its original format you would probably have a difficult time since it was written in Old English. The epic poem has gone on to shape today’s literature and be a foundation for countless other works. Beowulf is a story of glory, heroic battles, vengeance, and fearless warriors. The poem’s central focus is the noble warrior Beowulf and his accomplishments throughout the epic.
Beowulf Idealism and Materialism Contrasts Old English Epic vs. Modern Day Film In the story of Beowulf, (Heaney) which takes place in 1000 AD, the protagonist Beowulf is a Geat hero who fights monsters and is known as the strongest conqueror around. The cultural values in the Novel contrasted to Beowulf and Grendel, (Gunnarsson) a movie produced in 2005, are different.
However, with the oppression of the English by the Vikings, and the fierce nationalism that sweeps through a country in times of conflict, it could be argued that in response to this, they created their own national hero, Beowulf, and penned his adventures in a National Epic (Dark ages 5-13). The Völsunga saga tells the tales of ancient Norse kings and heroes. One major hero from these tales, Sigemund, spelled as
A hero, as indicated by the Oxford English Dictionary, is somebody who confers a demonstration of bravery or who has demonstrated incredible courage, quality of character, or another admirable quality. He is looked up to for the overcome and respectable things he has done. Despite the fact that Beowulf and Sir Gawain are both considered heroes, they each have many differences of characteristic qualities. For Beowulf his notoriety for being a hero relies on upon the sentiment of others inside his general public, for Gawain, Christianity decides his bombast.
Nietzsche thought that Christian morals guided European humanity for the last 1,500 years (Bishop, 2012). Europeans had to make a noteworthy choice regarding the last man and the superman, between a realistic society dedicated to complete contentment or a higher but sad culture with superhuman possibilities (Bishop, 2012). Christianity was the first against particle and theoretical nihilism. Christianity gave purpose to people’s lives by granting them an absolute value, Christianity was able to explain and justify the evil and suffering in the world (Moroney, 1987). As time went by the spirit of truthfulness sprang from Christianity and eventually gave way to the rise of nihilism as people began to question the notion of God and the whole Christian culture (Moroney, 1987).
In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, British author C. S. Lewis uses Aslan´s character to paint a symbolic picture of the Trinity, as described in The King James Version of the Bible. Aslan is ¨the rightful ruler of the land of Narnia¨ who assists the Pevensie children in their journey through Narnia, according to Lloyd R. Thompson´s Literary Analysis. Lewis reveals the nature of God the Father through Aslan’s character description, Christ through his sacrifice on the Stone Table, and the Holy Ghost through the his breath of life. Aslan shows characteristics of God the Father in the way he loves and cares for Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie (Thompson 5).
Dante’s expression is that despite our sinful ways God is willing and able to deliver us. Metaphorically speaking Jesus is the hero of men souls. Homer and Virgil served pagan gods whereas Dante sought truth and salvation in relation to the true and living God. It is important that Dante respond differently than that of Homer and Virgil because his fate depended on it. The heroes of Homer and Virgil’s time depended on their own personal strength regarding victory however Dante put his trust in the Lord for
The parallel could even be made between him and Jesus. The argument could be at the end of his story when Beowulf bequeaths his throne to Wiglaf (a thane) he is “reborn”. A second significance of Beowulf can be connected to the simple passing of time or age. We see him mature into from a great warrior to a king who must think about the safety of his people. This argument about Beowulf representing time is strengthened when the great dragon is
“His plays deal first and foremost with the human personality, passions, and problems” (Guisepi). For example, the passion and common emotions that Romeo and Juliet share largely fuels the plot in Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Their love and desire to be with one another ultimately becomes their fatal flaws. While the historical aspect of Catholicism held no prominence in his literature, Shakespeare did follow the pattern of portraying Christian virtues in his work. Throughout the time of the Northern Renaissance, “Christian Humanists thought that the best elements of classical and Christian cultures should be combined…
In the writings of English literature both attributes and imperfections reflect the heroes values in culture. Along the hero's journey they gain knowledge from wrong to right, where the reader also follows along the quest of reinforcing proper cultural values. In the Late Middle Ages for instance, their honorable deeds and religious beliefs, pagan and Christianity, were highly practiced as an importance to their lives. In Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight both reflect these beliefs of the Anglo-Saxons and Middle-English while others stand in firm contrast, which can be viewed clearly through an archetypal study of the heroes in Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Beowulf and Grendel can be compared and contrast in many ways. Beowulf is a prince and more like a hero. Grendel is a monster, he is mean and selfish. They both are strong and very powerful. Also, both of them are a murder.
How does one become a true hero? In many folklore tales a hero is portrayed as a brave citizen that puts himself in harm's way to save the lives of others. Meanwhile, in movies a person becomes a hero through mutation or inventions. Surprisingly, superheroes existed long before comic books and movies. The spark of heroism was started by Beowulf.
In Beowulf, the themes of liberation and sacrifice can be seen in Beowulf’s heroic narrative. Believed to be sent by God to rescue the people of Heorot, Beowulf not only serves as their warrior, but their protector from every evil that threatens their land. Beowulf sacrifices his own life to save the people, accepting his own death at the hands of the dragon. The themes of sacrifice and liberation are major themes in Beowulf, as seen through Beowulf’s willingness to defeat Grendel at Heorot and willingness to die fighting the dragon. Beowulf is first introduced as a liberator when he defeats Grendel and restores Danish power at Heorot.