Theme Of Fate In Beowulf

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The theme most evident throughout our selection from the Exeter Book, Beowulf , and The Man of Law 's Tale from The Canterbury Tales, is wyrd: or a concept from Anglo-Saxon culture and society and correlate to fate and one 's personal destiny. Wyrd plays a large role in all of these literary pieces, because they’re in part descended from Anglo-Saxon literature, and is an ancestor to modern British literature. Theses stories helped preserve and channel the beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon culture. Throughout the Anglo-Saxon Culture the theme of fate, or known as wyrd, is heavily prevalent, and can be expressed as one 's personal journey.

Beowulf is an epic poem, that takes place in modern day Denmark and Sweden, around the sixth century. Our
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The Man of Law 's Tale, from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, is different from the rest of completed tales. Fate plays an important part in all of the poems but unlike the other tales, The Man of Law focuses heavily upon free will as well. The poem is about a young roman princess who is unknowingly thrown into a life of cruelty and violence, over religious quarrels, jealousies, and hate thought to be enacted by Satan. The theme of unrelenting calmness and obedience is also present in the piece, and this could be due to her being a true follower of Christ. No matter if she is treated to a life of pain, bitterness, and backstabbing but throughout she remains loyal to Jesus and God’s Plan. Unlike the other two poems, The Man of Law confronts the aspect of God’s plan and the choice of free will, it is almost as if this tale implies that God is ‘wyrd’, or fate, and he controls everything. Comparatively, the other two tales separate God and fate and then categorize them as two distinct forces who rule the universe justly and bring balance. Like some of the poems from the Exeter Book, The Man of Law is in a way a psalm which tells followers of Christ how to live their life, and follow him, for what on Earth is temporary, what in Heaven is Eternal.

Unlike Beowulf, The Wanderer labels wyrd as a force that is swayed by the person 's decisions and provides an outcome. In Beowulf wyrd is a seemingly independent force from God, who decides the fate of men and keeps universe in check.
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