Nobility In Beowulf Essay

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Throughout the story of Beowulf, the titular warrior develops from a nameless heir into a beloved king through his heroic feats and honorable features. His tale to and from nobility is both unique in its individual steps and normal in its incarnation of cyclical nobility. This theme of nobility is introduced in the opening passage of Beowulf through an analysis of Shield Sheafson's sources of nobility and legacy of power which are demonstrated from an account of his life and a detail of his elaborate funeral. The excerpt’s detail of Shield’s rise to power and lasting impact mirror Beowulf’s humble rise to power and many other instances of nobility including Heremod’s throughout the story, creating its common theme of nobility. Shield is…show more content…
Introduced as the “scourge of many tribes,” Shield is known by others to be powerful and dangerous. Despite the fact that Shield was loved by those around him, Shield acted as a monster, terrorizing other tribes. Through acknowledging the many perspectives towards Shield, this passage emphasizes the realistic and human aspects of power, displaying that nobiles are powerful yet also are not entirely beneficial to everyone, repeated throughout the book through kings such as Heremod and older Beowulf, both tempted by corruption. The passage also contributes to the idea of nobility throughout Beowulf by introducing the idea that kings have a two sided agreement with those they reign over. This deal is introduced as Shield’s men create a ship filled with a “massed treasure,” representing both objects that citizens find valuable during the time period of Beowulf as well as the need for mourning after the loss of an important figure. Loaded with “battle tackle, bladed weapons, and coats of mail,” the descriptions of his pyre in this section of the opening reiterate the connection between nobility and strength throughout the poem. This connection is later visited by the gift giving throughout the rest of the poem, composed of mainly war prizes and

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