Heroic Tradition In Beowulf

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Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon manuscript, written around the time of 7th to 10th century and was preserved in a codex until its subsequent discovery in the 19th century. Beowulf’s author to this date is unknown. This particular text belongs to the Northern Heroic Tradition, highlighting traditional German heroic values, such as the blood price. While it does have pagan rituals and ideologies, it is not a highly Christian text. Beowulf is believed to have been orally transmitted. It is set in Scandinavia, where the Geats, under Hygelac, lived. Beow later travels to the land of the spear Danes, or Denmark to aid Hrothgar in ridding his land of the wretched monster Grendel. (Geatland is Sweden?) Poem: Grendel is a descendent of Cain, like his mother,…show more content…
definition of heroic poetry) The mead hall is a symbol of order and civilization. However, it also plays a significant role, as it is a declaration of the kingdom’s prosperity and wealth. The wood had been heavily embellished with jewels and other expensive ornaments. The men and warriors would conduct great feasts there and it served as barracks to a select few soldiers, the favorites of the king. Grendel shows an animalistic savagery as he destroys carelessly the mead hall, having no consideration for “civilization,” not treating the building as a building, but as another object, which he carelessly demolishes. “…loathsome tread,” “…baleful light,” (Beowulf 725) are descriptions of Grendel which portray how much a horrifyingly anomaly he is to the men. Hygelac’s men and Beow, who had lain in wait of the creature, are now thrown into a rather one-sided battle. Grendel attacked vehemently, “…mauled a man,…bit into his bone-lappings*,..and gorged on him in lumps.” It provides a gruesome insight to what occurred in the mead…show more content…
The passage also clearly states that he has talons, ready to strike Beow in the final confrontation. The Geat uses only his bare hands throughout the entire struggle. Beow, though heavily built, has the added advantage of being agile and captures Grendel’s arm in a fearsome grip. The captain of evil finds himself in an arm lock from which he cannot escape, and he finally learns the meaning of fear. It is a crucial fact in the story that Beow fends off this horridly malformed creature without the aid of any weapons. The omniscient narrator tells us that Grendel has the ability to curse the iron around and about him, more specifically, the ruination of any arms that Hygelac’s kinsman carried. Yet the men’s swords and weapons sang as they attempt to aid their leader. Grendel bellows an eerie cry, signifying that the end of the battle was near as he was unable to free himself. The tearing of his arm is described vividly; “…a tremendous wound appeared on his shoulder. Sinews split, and the bone-lappings burst.” (Beowulf
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