Illustration In Beowulf

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What does one see when looking at the illustration created by Santiago Garcia and David Rubin? Perhaps one sees a beast within a man, or maybe even a man within a beast. One could easily get confused when gazing upon this illustration, after all, is Beowulf not the hero of a very historic epic poem named Beowulf? At first glance, this illustration can lead viewers to think Beowulf, the character, was in fact a monster. In contrast, within the epic poem, he was never described in a monstrous way, but rather in a very heroic sense, with the ability to harness inhumane strength and power unlike any other “humanly” figure. He was regarded by his people in the utmost way, for his astounding leadership qualities and courage, although it was all due…show more content…
In his day, he was the mightiest man on earth” (195-200). Just by reading this line, one can see that Beowulf was portrayed as one of the mightiest, most exquisite men in the world at his time. Whether it was his strength, courage, or willingness to please the people, something set him apart from the “normal” individuals. I think this illustration, created by Rubin and Garcia, really portrays what traits Beowulf possessed. In addition to being courageous, powerful, and possessing a willingness to protect the people, Beowulf was able to harness the monster inside of him in order to conquer his foes. What type of “man” is able to defeat a creature who was said to have carried thirty men away from Heorot all at once (120-125)? Again, this illustration shows who Beowulf is due to the articulate details of the human head overlaying the monster’s. Beowulf in the text is regarded as human, in all ways, except when it comes to his strength and courage. Perhaps he was only different from the other warriors because he had identified his inner demons and was able to conquer them, allowing himself to wield those demons to defeat others? There is a common saying that says, “Before we can conquer the world, we must first conquer the self” (Sanders). This quote rings true, not only for ordinary man, or even heroes and monsters, but for exceptional warriors like Beowulf as

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