Beowulf

Ancient Works of Literature Reflective Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Introduction

Although the world is full of ancient literature, very few of these existed before the twelfth century and those that existed before then serve as pointers to the past way of life. By reading such works, a person is able to get an understanding on the beliefs and customs that were practiced in the ancient world.

In addition, reading ancient literature gives people an understanding on how they are supposed to conduct their lives by basing it to that of the characters in those works. Unlike today, most ancient works of literature were meant to educate people on the right way of living.

Personally, I view ancient literature as a source of entertainment and inspiration. Some of the ancient works of literature that I have read and which have been a great help to my life are Beowulf and Medea. In this paper, I will explain why these two works of literature interest me and then I will outline their relevance to my life and to the modern society.

While reading Beowulf, one thing that I found interesting was how the characters conduct themselves. Although the play contains much violence, nearly all the characters fight for worthy causes. In the play, Beowulf who is the hero fights for causes, which he believes are meant to better humankind. Beowulf’s life inspires me and gives me the desire to pursue only the causes that can benefit the society.

On his part, Hrothgar the Denmark king is described as a nice person who is concerned about the welfare of all his subjects. According to the author, the king is “given such glory of war, such honor of combat, that all his kin obey him gladly till great grow his band of youthful comrades.” (Francis) the character of the king teaches me the importance of humbleness regardless of the position that I hold in the society.

By examining the character of Unferth, I am able to learn the danger of being jealous of my colleague’s achievements. In the play, Grendel the monster can be used to signify people who oppress others in the society. Pushed by hatred, Grendel goes around ensuring that people do not have peace. This is best presented in the occasion where Grendel killed thirty soldiers for no other reason but that “he heard each day the din of revel high in the hall: their harps ringing out, and the clear song of the singer.” (Francis).

This character can be likened to the case where some people in society deny others the privilege of having things that they themselves do not need.

Apart from my life, the Beowulf story is also very relevant in modern society. The character of Hrothgar is a good example of how those in authority are supposed to govern. The king is depicted as a nice person who has the sense “to build his henchmen a hall uprear, a master mead-house, mightier far than ever was seen by the sons of earth.” (Francis) Hrothgar’s character is in contrast with that of many modern leaders who live comfortably while their military lives in deplorable conditions. Upon hearing news of the monster, Beowulf travels from Geats to Denmark to eliminate it.

Beowulf’s actions are in contrast with our modern day leaders who are less concerned with the welfare of their neighboring countries. (Francis)

Another lesson that the modern society can learn from the Beowulf story is on the danger of excessive drinking. When Grendel walks into the Heorot Hall, he is able to kill many soldiers because they are drunk and they cannot fight back.

Just like the Denmark soldiers, many people today are destroyed after they have had too much to drink. The Beowulf story therefore serves as a warning to people to shun alcoholism. Finally, the Beowulf story highlights the importance of courage to an individual and to the society.

It is interesting to note that the monster scared the Denmark army for twelve years but it took Beowulf only one day to kill it. Later on in the play, the importance of character is repeated when Beowulf battles a dragon that has burned his castle.

In this case, only his young assistant Wiglaf comes to his rescue and they both kill the dragon. Put together, those two episodes demonstrate to us the importance of being courageous when faced with an impossible mission. (Francis)

Apart from Beowulf, another legendary story that I find interesting is Medea. This story by Euripides highlights the plight of women and their role in the society. When Jason embarks on the Golden Fleece mission, he realizes that he cannot win on his own and decides to exploit Medea’s wisdom to fulfill his quest. Jason convinces Medea to help him on the promise that he will marry her after they complete the mission.

In the process, Medea ends up betraying her own family and killing her brother. From the beginning, it is possible to notice that Jason only pretends to love Medea in order to take advantage of her gift. Once he achieves his plans, he “dumps” her and marries another girl from the Corinth royal family in order to secure his royal citizenship.

This clearly shows that Jason had hoodwinked Medea from the beginning and made her believe that he had pure intentions for her while in the real sense he was only using her for his own selfish ambitions. (Euripides)

By following the lesson outlined in the story, I am able to look out for people whose agenda is to use me as a ladder to access higher things in life. Like Jason, such people leave us disappointed and with the duty of fixing the mistakes we made while trying to please them. This is best seen when Medea is exiled from Corinth for killing the King’s daughter.

At the same time, it becomes hard for her to return to her home country since she had caused the death of her brother while trying to aid Jason. Once Medea realizes how Jason has tricked her, she decides to cry “out to the gods to witness how Jason is repaying her favors.” According to Euripides, Medea gets to a point where “She just lies there.

She won’t eat—her body she surrenders to the pain, wasting away, always in tears, ever since she found out how her husband has dishonoured her. She’s not lifted her eyes up from the ground, or raised her head.” (Euripides)

By reading the Medea’s story, I am able to watch out for people with Jason’s character. If women in the society can learn how to spot people with such character, the pain of betrayal that majority of them go through would considerably be minimized.

By reading the Medea story, I am also able to learn what a scorned woman can do. When Medea realizes that Jason has deceived her despite the sacrifices she has made, she goes on a revenge mission that leaves many people dead. The first thing that she does is to kill Jason’s bride and her father who happens to be the king of Corinth.

Later on, she kills her own children to ensure that Jason has no heirs that can continue his lineage. Later on, Medea escapes to Athens using a dragon-drawn chariot leaving behind Jason to mourn his family. By reading this story, I am able to realize the folly of playing with a woman’s emotions. On top of this, I am also able to appreciate the roles that women play in my life and in society. (Euripides)

Conclusion

Medea and Beowulf are among one of the finest stories written before the twelfth century. Although the stories have been in existence for more than two and half millenniums, the moral lessons that they offer are still relevant in modern society. By reading these stories, a person is able to draw inspiration and strength from the characters in the play.

On the other hand, the stories act as a reference point for individuals to examine their lives against those of the characters. This enables us to correct the areas where we have gone astray and to improve on the areas where we fall short of expectations. Apart from individuals, the modern society also has much to learn from these stories.

Works Cited

Francis, Erik. Beowulf, 06 May. 2010. Web. <http://www.alcyone.com/max/lit/beowulf/i.html>

Euripides. Medea, 431 B.C. Trans. I. Johnson. Malaspina University College. Web. <http://johnstoniatexts.x10host.com/euripides/medeahtml.html>

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Beowulf: Role of Women

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Introduction

Beowulf is a title that refers to an old and very informative epic poem. Its setting is Scandinavia, and a lot of importance is attached to the field of literature.

This essay analyzes the role of women in Beowulf. The plot of the poem unfolds around a hero of the Geats by the name Beowulf who encounters three rivals; Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon. Grendel is mainly involved in attacking the warriors of the mead hall. The hero is engaged in different battles, but after winning two of them, he retires to his homeland in Sweden. There he gets the title of being the king of the Geats, and later, he engages in his final battle where he survives fatal injuries that lead to his death.

Female characters in Beowulf are very important, as they help to understand of the entire poem and also the culture of the people in ancient times (Orchard 8). This paper discusses the role of women in Beowulf with much emphasis given to the specific characters, their roles, and how they are viewed.

Female Characters in Beowulf

According to Porter (3), there are six significant female characters in Beowulf. They are Thryth, Hygd, Wealtheow, Freawaru, Hildeburh, and Grendel’s mother.

These women characters can be grouped into pairs according to their ranks and the roles they play in the society, for instance, Wealtheow and Hygd are queen and hostess, respectively. Hildeburh and Freawaru act as peacekeepers and peace weavers and participate in controversial situations in the society while Thryth and Grendel’s mother is depicted as monsters, although in different aspects.

They, in most instances, counter the hostesses and peace weavers by acting in a more masculine way. They utilize their physical strength and weapons as a means of impacting their influence on society as opposed to the use of words or even social aspects like marriages, as it is the case with the majority of women. The different women characters portrayed in Beowulf act as a way through which we can get a general overview of the gender roles in the Anglo-Saxon society of that time in general (Nilson 1).

Roles of Women in Beowulf

Women play a variety of roles at different times and occasions. They are supposed to recognize the bravery of their men at all times and to perform ceremonial practices entailing the passing of the mead cup. That is a way of taking care of the men’s welfare, satisfying their bodies and souls, that is a pure woman’s role.

In Beowulf, gender roles typical for the Anglo-Saxon society of that time are shown. Women serve as peacekeepers and weavers through their presence in all the post-battle sections of Beowulf. Peacekeeping is a role that gives women some form of identity. That, for example, can be seen in their effort in arranging marriages between clans that are surrounded by conflicts as they clearly understand the importance of peace and that its absence leads to failure in almost every aspect of life.

In Beowulf, the role of women is also that of transition figures. Grendel’s mother goes ahead and avenges her son’s death, and in return, gets killed. Prophesy is the other role assigned to women in Beowulf. This is closely related to the ceremonial practices carried out by the women and their power over the men’s wits and sobriety.

The women give signs and warn the people of anything that ought to happen, especially the unpleasant happenings, so that they can take the necessary precautions to avoid suffering. For instance, a woman appears after the demise of Beowulf to specifically warn the people that they have to be prepared as much awaits them from their former enemies following the slaying of their lord Beowulf (Edgington and Edgington 2).

Women are also entitled to the role of playing power politics in different occasions. For example, we see queen Wealtheow taking the opportunity of rewarding Beowulf substantially following his return from the act of slaying Grendel. That is a sign of caring for society – a role that is well played by women.

The women also serve a very significant role in society, which entails acting as role models by serving as mirrors to the young people through which they can gauge their failures and achievements. Women are very significant in Beowulf, although they are also viewed to be undermined by being given substandard roles. However, they are also valued as the roles they play could otherwise be unattended or done ineffectively.

They play essential roles like the clarification of the Germanic code utilized in the ruling during this time of the Beowulf. Grendel’s mother serves as a good example here where she is depicted as an evil beast and a savage woman and associated with the corrupt dealings of her son Grendel. The good part of this comes in her act of avenging for her son’s death, where she expresses the code of honor in a far much better manner than any man would do.

Her honor is obvious where she only kills one man as opposed to where her son, a man, killed many of them. The Germanic code demands that women need to show some specific elements, for example, humanity, warlike, and sympathy in all their dealings irrespective of the circumstances that faced them (Edgington and Edgington 4).

From the roles of the women in Beowulf, it is right to conclude that although the parts are not too inflexible that they can limit the women’s actions, they are, to a great extent, responsible for restricting their powers. Gender roles in Beowulf also bring out the aspect of male dominance.

Suppression for women is an acceptable aspect, and the few who are viewed to express some possession of power are expected to do so at a very minimal rate. A good example is that of queen Wealtheow, who, despite having the title, has petty responsibilities like those of serving drinks to men.

Gender Roles in Beowulf

Women in Beowulf are homemakers who are not treated with the respect and honor they deserve. They are expected to be unassertive and are not given a chance to ask questions but rather to act unquestionably and serve the guests and the warriors and make the men happy under all circumstances. For instance, we see queen Wealtheow being viewed as just like a typical Danish woman, while Grendel’s mother is a strong, assertive woman and, worse still, a murderer.

That shows that, in Beowulf, some women are treated with the respect they require while others are despised too much. It is evident from the author’s viewpoint there is an element of suppressing the feminine forces in Beowulf even though there are chances of trying to counter this through praises to some women.

Women are also members of the weaker sex throughout the poem. For instance, when queen Wealtheow is directed to her position beside the king, and she is expected to be involved in serving drinks and greeting the guest or else following the king obediently for any occurring chance where her help is needed.

The strong attributes of the women, for instance, their intelligence and their ability to undertake specific duties correctly, then men like peacemaking are not emphasized in the poem, although they are evident. That helps to understand where the women’s place in society is, especially comparing to the men (MartinX 2).

Conclusion

This paper analyzes the role of women in Beowulf. The words and practices carried out by the women in the poem seem to play the overall rationale of it, which entails the demonstration of concentration on variation and opposition. As shown in this essay, women role in Beowulf is essential, although there are instances of them being undermined.

Works Cited

Edgington Byron and Edgington Mariah. ”The Role of Women in Beowulf – An Overview”. Ezine articles, 2011. Web.

MartinX. “Representation of Women in Beowulf.” echeat.com, 2005. Web.

Nilson, John. “Female Characters in Beowulf.” Searchwarp, 2006. Web.

Orchard, Andy. A Critical Companion to Beowulf. Cambridge: Bodydell & Brewer Ltd, 2003. Print.

Porter, C. Dorothy. “The Social Centrality of Women in Beowulf: A New Context.” Heroicage, 2001. Web.

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Is Beowulf an Ideal Hero and King? Ideal in “Beowulf” [Essay]

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Introduction

Every character in a play, poem, or a film has a strategic role to play allocated to him/her by the playwright or the filmmaker. Therefore, it is upon the novelists or poets to feature a variety of traits to the characters to ensure the manifestation of the intended roles, which on the other hand, make the vivid work appearing like a real-life situation. On many occasions, readers have identified characters as Heroes, Kings, and pessimists, among others, based on the way they stand out in the different works.

Sometimes, poets feature more than one trait in the characters, a case that has often made it difficult for readers to identify either or both of the characteristics. Is Beowulf an ideal hero and king? The essay aims at answering this question. Beowulf is such a character in the poem ‘Beowulf,’ whom the reader might fail to determine whether he passes for an ideal king, hero, or probably both or none. Such a case may result depending on the reader’s interpretation of the terms hero and king.

According to Arnold, the term hero refers to “…a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life” (Para.1). In addition, any leader will pass for an ideal king based on how well he/she handles the people he/she leads. As the paper unfolds, Beowulf depicts all the aforementioned qualifications of both an ideal king and a hero.

Heroic Ideal in “Beowulf”

The fact that Beowulf values the welfare of his people more than his own passes him for an ideal epic hero. The opening of the poem confirms this when Beowulf has to travel all the way to Denmark to set the Danes free of the monster. He sacrifices, not only his time, energy, and money, but also his own self only to ensure the safety of the Danes whom he views as his own people. In addition, after having served for fifty years as the Geats’ king, the retired old Beowulf realizes that there is a dragon upsetting his people.

Disregarding his age, Beowulf decides to fight the dragon for the sake of his people’s security, a job that he successfully does. Further, Beowulf has his people at heart. For instance, despite living in his final days in the deathbed, the man longs for seeing the Geats enjoy the safety and hence providing the reason behind the erection of the tall lighthouse that purposely assists the group in locating its way back from the sea. The achievement of personal magnificence is a sign of ideal heroism.

Many instances feature Beowulf striving to seek for such an achievement. For example, the noise that comes from the drinking spree erected by Hrothgar, the king of Denmark, becomes a tragic disaster to the Danes following the interference it poses to Grendel, the demon. Since none has managed to settle down the problem, Beowulf, as young as he is, believes that he can fight and defeat the demon and thereby gain fame and glory (“Beowulf” Lines 392-393).

He does exactly as he says, as he gathers men and targets to sail up to Denmark purposely to fight the demon. The news of this bold step alone picks him all the splendor and hence, a qualified hero. Gerhard observes, “Beowulf is a Geatish hero who fights monsters, kills dragons, and is said to be the strongest and smartest warrior around” (Para. 1). Another instance that depicts him as an ideal hero is his inexplicable bravery.

Even after realizing that a demon has attacked the Danes, he sets off fearlessly to fight it with his fellow men. The outcome of the fight does not matter much to him. Therefore, whether he will lose, win, or die is none of his business. He has all the determination to face the ghost at whichever cost and thus, this is what an ideal hero is.

Beowulf, too, passes for an ideal hero based on his overwhelming physical strength. He says, “The strength of my body. Themselves they beheld me when I came from the contest” (“Beowulf” Line 786). His fight with the ghost is just one among the many he has involved himself. As a man of incredible strength, he wins all but the last one.

The response from his people as he gathers them to go for the fight depicts him as a hero because they accept with no doubt to follow him since they know very well that he must win the fight. In addition, the way he kills the demon qualifies him as an ideal hero.

He employs no weaponry but instead uses bare hands. In fact, he kills it by ripping off his hands. Further, upon the death of Grendel’s mother, Beowulf fights with the mother, who seeks revenge for her son’s death and slashes her using a huge sword that can only be lifted by physically strong men like him.

Funny enough, the monster’s head alone proves too heavy for four men to carry, while Beowulf lifts it up and carries it like a light load, thus passing for an ideal hero. Another character that qualifies him for the perfect hero is his lack of fear of death. Before going for any war, Beowulf talks about his wishes concerning death. For instance, he wishes to see his assets given to his people if the end meets him in the fight. In fact, he says, “And if death takes me, send the hammered mail of my armor to Higlac and return the inheritance

I had from Hrethel, and Wayland. Fate will unwind, as it must” (Garnett 18). He knows the paradox behind tragic heroes that glory has to go to them in their life or their death, based on their deeds. Therefore, either way, is not a worry to him. On their way to fight, he declares that he will either win or die for his people (Arnold Para. 10). In every encounter with a tough situation in his journey, he understands the two possible outcomes: doom or goodwill.

Is Beowulf a Good King?

Besides being an ideal hero, Beowulf is an ideal king. One expects a perfect king to ensure the welfare of his people. The entire poem features Beowulf accomplishing this task right from his youth age to his old age. Referring to Beowulf, Gerhard observes, “His ideal kingship was apparent by his excellent fighting skills as a warrior, his perseverance, leadership, loyalty, and generosity” (Para. 6).

The king received many honors during his kingship, providing the reason as to why he was a king for fifty years. The poem depicts him as warrior based on the heroic moments he embarks on, of fighting the demon that has attacked the Danes. “Now Holy God has, in his goodness, guided him here to the West-Danes to defend us from Grendel” (Gerhard Para. 5). The reader, overwhelmed by his exceptional fighting tactics, will declare him an ideal king.

The author, despite his/her concealed identity, makes the reader realize Beowulf’s strength following his fight with the monster. In fact, he claims to be as dangerous as the demon. Moreover, the issue of imperial munificence held a vital position in Anglo-Saxon society. Beowulf, a member, stands out as devastatingly generous based on the evident sacrifices he offers for his people.

He respects king Hrothgar and even advises him on how he can fight his enemy, Grendel. When kings approach their retiring periods, they concentrate much on issues concerning themselves, leave alone those of others. However, Beowulf is not as such. He has his people at his heart to the level of forgetting his situation. He wishes to die assured of the security of the Danes and hence, Beowulf as king is a prominent character.

Conclusion

The paper analyzed the poem and answered the question whether Beowulf is ideal hero and king or not.The epic poem presents Beowulf as both an ideal king and a hero. He bears all the qualifications of ideal heroes and kings. For instance, as an ideal hero, Beowulf involves himself in fights, all of which he wins apart from one. He has the guts to face and fight a monster that has defeated all the other people who, in turn, fear it.

In addition, he fears nothing, including death. Further, he possesses an extraordinary physical strength that enables him to lift a load that even four men cannot manage. As an ideal king, Beowulf always has the welfare of his people at his heart. He is quite generous to his people in that he sacrifices to assist them even after retiring despite his old age. The poem, despite its unknown authorship, passes for an informative piece of work through the way it exemplifies Beowulf as both an ideal king and a hero.

Works Cited

Arnold, Thomas. Beowulf. A heroic Poem of the Eighth Century. London, 1876. Beowulf. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co. Publishers, 1892.

Garnett, Joan. Beowulf: An Anglo-Saxon Poem, and the Fight at Finns burg. Boston: Leslie Hall, 1882.

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Heroes in English Literature Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Heroes in English literature constitute a majority of the middle Ages narratives. In epic plays, poems and narratives, heroes were defined as being selfless individuals who deliberately and courageously risked their lives for a justified cause.

They are said to overcome risky and dangerous obstacles for the benefit of others. In the middle Ages, there is a variety of literal text that depicts heroes. These include epic heroes like Beowulf, romantic or chivalric heroes like Lanval and Lord Gawain and the green Knights (Kline 27). This middle Ages narrative will form the basis of this paper in showing the comparison of these heroes.

Then what qualities were deemed to characterize these heroes in the middle ages? From the above mentioned epic heroes, we find that the aspect of heroism is differentiated mostly to suit the time in which they were written and also to meet the expectation of the audience and preference at the time.

In Beowulf, we find that heroism was depicted by being courageous and brave. This is demonstrated by Beowulf who travels far and wide to prove his strength. From the story, it is evident that the community which was the Danes of Denmark and the Geats who constituted Beowulf’s own people valued not only physical strength as an attribute, but also the aspect of being selfless for the greater good.

This is demonstrated when king Hrothgar of the Danes great hall called Heorot is attacked by a demon called Grendel and kills most of the king’s men. It is prudent to mention at this juncture that Beowulf being an epic poem starts at the Medias res. So we learn through narration of king Hrothgar to Beowulf that Grendel has been attacking the village and killing the people (Heaney 56).

Beowulf is depicted as a hero because of his ability to defeat Grendel without being armed. According to the story, Beowulf severs Grendel’s arm.

Being mortally wounded, Grendel retreats to his borrow to die, but this is not the end of king Hrothgar tribulations as Grandel’s mother avenges her son’s death by killing king Hrothgar close friend Aeschere, Beowulf swears to avenge Aeschere death and goes after Grendel mother in the swamps and kills her by her own sword, heroism in this case is depicted by the ability of the hero or heroin to defeat super natural demons, its a matter of mortal being verses supper natural beings.

According to some analysts, epic narratives were meant to depict a man as being in control of his fate and that his destiny was not predetermined by the supernatural beings.

At the end of the story we see Beowulf fighting a dragon that had ravaged his kingdom and, although this is fifty years after killing Grendel’s mother and himself being old, he still has to prove his ability. Thus, he goes after the dragon and although he managers to kill it, it is at his own demise because he shortly succumbs to death. In Beowulf’s case, a hero is the one who gives his life for other to live.

Although Beowulf forms what we may refer to as traditional form of epic poems, Marie de France in Lanval introduces us to a different aspects in terms of how epics were viewed traditionally. Normally, heroes were men who were supposed to save the women at all cost even to their own peril, but in Lanval, it is the direct opposite where it is the woman who saves the man.

The reason given for this drastic change from male centered epics that depicted males as being heroes and females being villains is the fact that Marie de France lived in the era of Eleanor of Aquitaine who herself loved plays that women played important roles. In Lanval, the story is about a knight called Lanval who sits at king Authors table and is overlooked by King Author and rest of the king’s official, feeling depressed for having nothing and most importantly land (Marie De France 1-2).

He rides of to the countryside to clear his head. Marie de France adopts the fairy mistress motif that is traditionally used in Celtic stories, where a beautiful lady comes from another world and falls in love with the man, but there is a catch, the man should never reveal their love. If the man breaks the pact, then he is punished by the fairy lady by withdrawing her love. Laval’s case is not so different, but heroism is depicted by the virtue of love rather than physical strength as was the case in Beowulf.

At the time of this writing, the society seemed to uphold the truth and no wander when Lanval stood accused at the court by Guinevere, king Author’s wife who wants to have an affair with Lanval, when Laval refuses to engage in such an act Guinevere accuses him of being a homosexual, but Laval sticks to his decision saying that he cannot betray king Arthur.

Lanval is forced to confess his love to the fairy lady. He is told to prove that he has a lover or else be banished knowing very well that he had broken his world to her fairy lady. He knows that she would not turn up and so prepares to be banished, but out of the blues, she appears in front of the court and confesses her love for Lanval. The story culminates in both Lanval and her fairy lady ridding towards the sunset.

Marie de France takes epic poems to the next level where heroes suffers for doing the right thing this is typical of Shakespearian tragedy where doing the right thing is the cause of a hero falling from grace to grass, but unlike Shakespeare’s tragedy that culminates in a sorrowful mood with the demise of the hero, Marie de France culminates Lanval on a happy ending, where justice is served. Heroism in this aspect is depicted by virtue of love, honesty and justice rather than battles and physical strength of an individual.

As mentioned earlier, Marie de France performed for Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II of England, by the virtue that they were royal the poems had to be tailored to show bravery in virtues and ideals rather than wars and battles, which at the time were viewed to be barbaric and not befitting nobility

In sir Gawain and the Green Knight, heroisms is also depicted as a virtues rather than physical strength. The main protagonist in the story, Sir Gawain who is the nephew of King Arthur and the youngest Knight accepts a challenge from the Green Knight who rides to Camelot on the New Year’s Day.

According to Weston, (50), the challenge is for anyone to strike the Green Knight with his own arks and that the green knight will return the blow one year and one day after. Sir Gawain doesn’t just strike the green knight, but severs his head on one strike, but the green knight picks up his head and reminds Gawain to meet him one year later at Green Chappell.

Heroism in sir Gawain and the Green Knight, is demonstrated by the fact that sir Gawain honors his word and a year later rides to green Chappell to receive his dues, also the aspect of faithfulness and luck of greed is depicted in the story as being acts of heroism, during the long journey and on the brink of starvation, Sir Gawain encounters a beautiful castle and is hosted by lord Bertilak de Hautdesert and his beautiful wife, sir Gawain informs them of the task at hand to meet the green knight, but Bertilak informs Gawain that the Green chapel is only a mile away and that he should be Lord Bertilak guest. In the meantime each time Lord Bertilak went hunting lady Bertilak would try to seduce Gawain this went on for days, but Gawain would not yield, eventually she hands Gawain a green girdle.

Gawain goes to meet the green knight at the chapel and finds him waiting, Gawain bends and waits for the Green Knight to strike him, but due to fear, he flinches and Green Knight only makes a mark on Gawain’s neck on the third strike and reveals himself as Lord Bertilak de Hautdesert (Weston 56). Gawain is a hero because of virtues and not his strength, the ability to stick to his word and be faithful to lord Bertilak de Hautdesert saves him and returns to Camelot as a hero.

Works Cited

Heaney, Seamus. Beowulf: a new verse translation. Reprint, New York: Norton & Co., 2001. Print.

Kline, T. Daniel. The medieval British literature handbook: Literature and cultural handbook. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2009. Print.

Marie, De France and Gallagher, Edward. The Lays of Marie de France. Upper Saddle River: Hackett Publishing, 2010. Print.

Weston, Jessie Laidlay. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: Dover Books on Literature & Drama. New York: Courier Dover Publications, 2003. Print

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Beowulf: Grendel’s Mother Viewpoint Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Beowulf is a unique title of a famous and old epic poem, which has more than three thousand alliterative lines. It forms part of the important works of ancient Anglo-Saxon literature.

Beowulf is a long and detailed narrative poem, which is rich in literature and other aspects, thus coming in handy in the study of language. The poem narrates on serious and great subjects who have a unique and elevated relationship. It centers on a quasi-divine or heroic figure namely Beowulf, described as an important person whose actions determine the fate of a nation, tribe, or the human race.

This poem establishes genre of stories and epic poems. In addition, it shows work from old English literature and exemplifies the unique way of traditional culture. The poem describes how Beowulf fought against water monster Grendel together with Grendel’s mother. This essay demonstrates the linguistic, thematic, and cultural importance of Beowulf from the eyes of Grendel’s mother, an antagonist in the novel.

John Gardner’s novel Grendel expounds the cultural importance of Beowulf through a character named Grendel’s mother who was a monster that lived in a cave located under water together with her son Grendel. Though she was a monster, she played important role in expounding the traditional culture in this novel.

Gardner reveals major practices practiced in this culture. First, the role played by women in this culture was rather minimal, as the book presents them as confined to performing the tasks of playing stewards and or action-seeking warriors or men (Gardner 17). On the other hand, the author depicts women as peacemakers describing them as bestowing honors and gifts, which were important aspects in this culture.

Men in this culture played roles of warriors and breadwinners to their families. The poem also reveals how the culture believed in supernatural being and in God. For instance, Grendel’s mother says that, “The humans believe that their God can prevent occurrence of accidents and help them win battles” (Gardner 43). Based on the entire piece, Beowulf manifests some crucial cultural values like bravery, respect, and relationship.

These cultural values are of great essence as they reflect a unique culture that is rich in morals and honor. Families of Anglo-Saxon society are described as of great importance as they were the sources of identification. For instance, warriors and other people were mentioned not by their deeds, but by who their parents or brothers are. This emphasizes on the value of families in this culture.

Beowulf has a lot of linguistic importance, as described by Gardner through his use of a character named Grendel’s mother. This poem is worth of analysis and study, as it contains many language intricacies, which are important in understanding the complex nature of traditional literature.

The alliteration used in this poem makes it unique and memorable. With unique alliteration, lines used in this poem were easier o repeat and remember. For instance, alliteration stands out when Gardner reckons that, “the dearest companion of Beowulf was now dead and gone due to fierce battle with the monster” (46).The poem also employs other linguistic features such as satire.

One can clearly see the thematic importance of Beowulf as an epic poem after an extensive study of it. The poem uses many themes as the story unfolds. These themes help to unfold a unique story of evil versus good. The poem describes Min characters’ weapons and clothes using detailed descriptions, which help the learner to form a clear picture of how the attire looked like. John Gardener through use of Grendel’s mother portrays Grendel as a unique creature with strong feelings rather the being a savage beast.

The poem has paramount themes, which include themes such as the heroic deeds that reflect on individual glory. In addition, there was personification of deadly raw emotions such as greed, envy, and pride through the characters especially Grendel’s mother. It also uses symbols. For instance, the necklace given to Beowulf by Wealhtheow is a unique symbol of the loyalty bond existing between the Wealhtheow’s people and Beowulf. Diverse themes used in this book expound on the thematic essence of this novel.

Work Cited

Gardner, John. Grendel. New York: Vintage Books, 1971.

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Comparison of heroes in early English literature Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

The Norman Conquest ushered in a different era not only in the literary but also in the political history of Britain. Anglo-Saxon authors changed their status to become Anglo-Saxon kings.

The literature that followed was, thus, entirely to needs of English rulers. It reflected the altered attitudes of the leaders of the people (Greenblatt and Abrahams 242). It unearths a considerable measure of a new national disposition alongside betraying crucial conditions influencing its growth. Nevertheless, the vehicle employed brought in the most noticeable change, in literature.

For a long time, the clergy in Britain had used Latin. The Conquest, however, led to the rejuvenation of the monasteries and the tightening of ties with Rome (Norton & Company 1). This affected its use. The scope of this essay is not entrenched in the history of early English literature. Its gist is limited to an analysis of heroes in this medieval era. The heroes in early English literature had similar characteristics and their representation was related to the culture that produced it.

The English language has undergone virtually a complete metamorphosis since its entry in Britain about mid 400 A.D. Little is known about the languages spoken in Britain before the Anglo-Saxon invasion of the island. However, Celts are believed to be the first people to live in Britain whose language is known.

Nevertheless, they did not have much influence on the English language safe for a handful of place names whose origin can be traced to a Celtic foundation. The reason why Celts did not have any significant influence on the English language is that they were not civilized. Much of the influence of early English came from Latin. This old English is to be found today only in manuscripts and ruins in the form of a number of dialects like Northumbrian, Kentish, West Saxon and Mercian (Greenblatt and Abrahams 250).

Early English is very distinct from Modern English. One of the basic differences is in vocabulary. Early English is fundamentally unilingual. Instead of borrowing from other languages, it created new words out of its own native resources. In addition, it makes us of self-expressing compounds. Further, it is inflectional, making use of verbs with person, number and tense. An inflectional can be either synthetic or analytic. Like Latin, Early English is synthetic.

It indicates the relation of words in sentences mostly by use of inflections. Early English is, thus, distinct from the Modern English in several basic ways. These include inclusion of a complex gender system having no relationship to sex, and inflections of nouns, pronouns and adjectives. In addition, verbs are classified into seven categories of strong verbs and three others of weak verbs. In addition, pronunciation entailed the use of harsh, guttural sounds, which were stopped by Modern English (Norton and Company 2).

One of the underlying characteristics of Early English Literature authors was the incorporation of heroes in their works. As Morton holds, heroes are derived from the mists of time and myth. He goes further to assert that heroes in early literature were likely to be grounded on a king who died for his people, or even a warrior who conquered the tribe’s foes. Such were the personalities who were praised in songs and stories. They were presented repeatedly to people in order for the latter to take part in their magic (Greenblatt and Abrahams 275).

As a recap, to the thesis of this essay, the representation of a hero in early literature was closely linked to the culture that produced it. For instance, in Indo-European culture, the idea of heroes invokes the qualities of a protector or helper. In Greek, the concept refers to a superhuman or demigod with special capabilities who is put forth to save or aid all humankind or a chosen portion of it.

The perception of a hero as a people’s savior was dominant in the early medieval epics such as Beowulf and Judith. However, as Fishwick notes, the concept of hero changes just like everything else. This is because in the later medieval romances like Gawain and Lanval, a hero is no longer viewed as a people’s savior, but one who fights for his ideals.

In spite of all the evident disparities on what constituted a hero, it can be put clearly that a hero in early English literature performed outrageous and occasionally superhuman acts. He or she was a person of high social caliber, and who people attached a great historical or legendary significance (Greenblatt and Abrahams 125).

The above portrayal of a hero is slightly distinct from that of a hero in epic literature. Morton notes that epic literature celebrates national life in the heroic age somberly. Its heroes are ordinary people engaged in normal activities of ordinary life. They are leaders, not through class position, prosperity or birth. Instead, their leadership stems from the perfections of their heart, mind and hands (Norton and Company 3).

In addition, their aims are linked to the practical essentials of life. An epic hero like Beowulf or Judith has traits of bravery, military competence, faithfulness, bigheartedness and respect. The hero in the two works fights because he or she ought to, in order for their people to survive. This is despite the fact that the hero is conscious of the eminent death. The hero does not escape from threats or danger. His or her duty is to protect his life by bravery. This is because it is via the battle that courage of an epic hero is determined.

A number of criticisms have been put forth to whether or not the actions of Judith can be categorized as heroic. This is because in contrast to male warriors in heroic poetry who fight against a brutal enemy. In the case of Judith, the battle takes place on a bed and is against an unconscious man.

The truth of the matter is that Judith was in a threatening situation, as she feared that Holofernes could gain conscience any time. Nevertheless, Judith, through her courage, manages to murder him in cold-blood. Judith’s heroism is also somehow distinct from that of Judith because her actions are very private (Greenblatt and Abrahams 1025). This portrayal of Judith’s secretive murder of Holofornes opposes the conventional perception of a hero in epic literature. In the case of Beowulf, his men watch as he fights the dragon.

In addition, despite the fact that his soldiers do not accompany him in fighting Grendel’s mother underwater, they wait him above the water as they watch. Although Judith’s deeds may have been private, her words are public given that she delivers a speech upon returning to her people in order to arouse the temper of the Hebrew warriors (Norton and Company 2).

The characteristics of a chivalric hero are the same as those of an epic hero. These include bravery, military competence, loyalty, bigheartedness and respect. Nevertheless, the concept of loyalty is given prominence. It is a trait of the soul. In addition to these traits, a chivalric hero ought to exhibit self-control, courtesy and respect for women.

Winning a battle is not enough. Just as the case of an epic hero, a chivalric hero is tested through battle. Nevertheless, an epic hero fights when conditions dictate so. In the case of a chivalric hero, he or she fights in order to prove him/herself. The chivalric scarcely fights to protect his or her people. He or she does so in order to preserve a principle or notion.

The world of operation of a chivalric hero is a creative idealization. Although the world is referred to in the light of existing things like clothes, occasions, little is done to make the story genuine in the spheres of politics, geography or economy. While an epic is specific to a particular nation and its people, the romance is out of the ordinary.

It is a product of special-complex group instead of an entire culture. Even though, the world of romanticism was adapted form feudalism, the feudal culture did not have any political function. It had no pragmatic reality. As such, the world in which the chivalric hero operated is a delusion reality (Greenblatt and Abrahams 1037).

The conditions that make a chivalric hero like Sir Gawain and Lanval are very distinct from those of the epic hero. The epic hero undergoes physical battles against an enemy. In the case of Sir Gawain, the role of the hero is more spiritual than physical. The hero has to succeed in all the elements of a typical chivalric hero so that he may be exalted. Although Gawain fails because he is devoid of loyalty, he is, in a sense, dignified.

Lanval also portrays the basic characteristics of a hero by chivalric codes. He is generous because he gives gifts to other knights. In addition, he is loyal to the king and is trustworthy. These characteristics make Lanval be singled out from the rest of the knights. Gawain and Lanval had their flaws. The former did not respect women while the latter can be accused of homosexuality. This demystifies the idea that a hero is above reproach (Norton and Company 2).

In conclusion, although the epic and chivalric hero may be different, they have some similarities. For instance, they possess a principled heroic code. The heroes do not fight against a weak enemy. Another similarity is that both heroes undergo a rite of passage. The passage of their souls through challenges is continually observable. Finally, in both cases, the heroes accept their fate in the form of failure or success. They all withstand insuperable odds through their heroic courage.

Works Cited

Greenblatt, Stephen and Abrahams, Howard. The Norton Anthology of English literature. London: W.W. Norton, 2006.

Norton and Company. “The middle Ages.” 2010. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Web.

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Why the Story of Beowulf Focuses on the History of the Main Character as a Hero Rather Than a King Research Paper

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

In writing a story, the author usually has an underlying reason as to why he laid out the story in a particular way. In most cases, however, it is left to the a reader to point out why the story was written the way it was. The story of Beowulf, to a great extent, focuses on the history of the main character as a hero as opposed to a king. Depending on the reader’s understanding, a number of reasons could be linked to the author’s decision.

When going through the poem, what immediately stands out is that as much Beowulf had been born a prince, it was his courage and adventures that made him the man he became. And the deduction that leads to this conclusion is simply because one can be born in a royalty or even get anointed into it, but as long as his life is spent within the confines of the castle, his story becomes pointless to tell.

From the beginning of the story, where Beowulf travels to Denmark to help in dealing with the monstrous evil that is Grendel and his (Grendel’s) mother, one can tell that he is destined for greatness, and his path sets ground for a story that can be retold for generations. It even makes it interesting to read his preparation for the battles, as illustrated by the example below:

Beowulf got ready, donned his war-gear, indifferent to death; his mighty, hand-forged, fine-webbed mail would soon meet with the menace underwater. It would keep the bone-cage of his body safe, [His helmet] was of beaten gold, princely headgear hooped and hasped by a weapon-smith who had worked wonders (Williamson and Shippey 12 ).

Another school of thought can point to the fact that the story of Beowulf came out the way it did, purely by default. This is because Beowulf spent a lot of his noticeable public time dealing with monsters and dragons, amongst other dangers, than he spent on administrative chores. This, in effect, makes the story of his life easy to tell by analyzing his landmark victories as opposed to how great he was at drafting his country’s policies, if he did.

On his return to his kingdom, Beowulf again finds himself tackling a vicious dragon. With the assistance of one of his kinsmen, he manages to take it down, ultimately rescuing an entire people. To ensure that his legend lives on, the author allows Beowulf to die, a heroic death. With little attention given to the place of Beowulf in society, the author of the poem makes him more relatable with all and sundry.

The poem becomes more interesting when anyone who reads it can easily mistake Beowulf for any hero, who rose from the ground to build a name for himself, only to realize that he was actually born great, and he made himself unforgettable. This is well illustrated by the eulogy presented at the end of the poem.

O flower of warriors, beware of that trap. Choose, dear Beowulf, the better part, eternal rewards. Do not give way to pride. For a brief while your strength is in bloom but it fades quickly; and soon there will follow illness or the sword to lay you low, or a sudden fire or surge of water or jabbing blade or javelin from the air or repellent age. Your piercing eye will dim and darken; and death will arrive, dear warrior, to sweep you away (Williamson and Shippey 186).

In conclusion, it is worth noting that the story of Beowulf was meant to be an epic, illustrating the man’s desire to fight for his people. As such, it could only make sense if it was told in such a way that illustrates how the man came to be very popular with his people than looking at the man’s activities after he had been confirmed a king. Of importance to note is that because the author of the poem did not make an effort to explain his intentions or flows of thought when writing the poem, any reasons given are speculative.

Works Cited

Williamson, Craig and Tom Shippey., trans. Beowulf and Other Old English Poems. 2nd

Edition. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. Print.

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Role of Women in the Poem Beowulf Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Introduction

In the poem Beowulf, it is the male characters that have mainly been covered. The poem mainly concentrates on the actions and activities that were conducted by the male characters. However, from a careful analysis of the context of the poem and the society in which it is set in, it is evident that women also played a key role in the poem. Therefore, in the poem, women form an integral part of the story thus they are not just marginal characters in the story (Mitchell 21). In the story, there are six main female characters. These include:

  1. Wealhtheow
  2. Hygd
  3. Freawaru
  4. Hildeburh
  5. Grendel’s mother
  6. Thryth

All these female characters play a critical role in the development of the plot of the story. This paper shall therefore analyze their characters and impacts that they have in the story. Due to their similarities, some characters shall be analyzed together.

Wealhtheow and Hygd

From a careful analysis of the characters of these women, it will be true to conclude that they are hostess. Wealhtheow for instance was described as a woman who follows the culture of the land to the latter, soft spoken and wise. Hygd on the other hand is described as a wise and enlightened woman.

In one of the scenes, Wealhtheow is seen conducting a cup carrying activity. From plain analysis, this can just be seen as a simple activity. However, from a careful analysis, one sees that she first passed the cup to Hrothgar who drinks and after he is done, she takes the cup directly to Beowulf. After Beowulf is done, she does not give the cup to the other retainers but she goes directly to her seat. This act of Wealhtheow is a clear indication that Beowulf has risen in status. This comes about after he promised the king that he will slay Grendel.

Hygd on the other hand also carry`s the cup. However, at this time, Beowulf had returned to his hall where he was the master. Hygd handing him the cup proves that in deed he is the master of the lot (Mitchell 40).

Hildeburh and Freawaru

In the poem, these women are seen as peaceweavers. In ancient English literature, the term peacemaker was used to describe a woman who was handed into marriage in order to bring peace to two rival communities. In the story, Hildebrurh, is the princess of Dane. She was married by the Finn who was the then king of the Jutes.

From the union, Hildebrurh got a son that had the blood of the two tribes. However, this union did not stop these two tribes from fighting and Hildebrurh lost both his son and husband in the war. She was eventually taken back to her people (Donoghue 122). Freawaru also plays the role of a peaceweaver. She is married to Froda who is the son to the king on Heathobards. The Heathobards and the Danes had been in conflict thus this married is indeed a peaceweaver.

Grendel’s Mother and Thryth

These women are different from the ones who have been discussed so far in this paper. Instead of using marriage and words to settle their disputes peacefully, they use force, violence and weapons to settle their scores.

Thryth for instance was the daughter of the king. She used to brutally murder men who passed through her hall. Grendel`s mother on the other would also ambush any individual who would come to her den. This included Beowulf (Donoghue 163). However, these women were tamed in the end. Thryth was married off to Offa and Grendel`s mother was killed.

Conclusion

From the analysis of the character of all this women, it is evident that they play a critical in the development of the plot of the story. These women are used to bring peace between communities while Grendel`s mother and Thryth were a source of terror. It is thus obvious that women played a critical role in the poem of Beowulf.

Works Cited

Donoghue, Daniel. Beowulf. New York: Norton, 2002. Print.

Mitchell, Bruce. Beowulf: An Edition with Relevant Shorter Texts. London: John Wiley & Sons, 1998. Print.

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Beowulf Essay (Movie Review)

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Information

The film Beowulf (2007) was directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis. Such Hollywood celebrities as Anthony Hopkins (King Hrothgar), Angelina Jolie (Grendel’s mother) and Ray Winstone (Beowulf) starred in the movie.

Beowulf (2007) is based on the Old English epic of the same title. Notably, the movie is “the full-length motion picture” where actor’s movements rather than their appearance were captured (Jones 18). I watched it on DVD and I was impressed by the technique used. I was also interested in the story itself, of course.

The Plot

Beowulf is a warrior who travels the world and fights against the evil. He comes to help King Hrothgar to defeat a monster, Grendel, which devastates his kingdom. The warrior manages to kill the monster, but Grendel’s mother comes and kills almost all Beowulf’s men. Hrothgar tells Beowulf that Grendel’s mother, the Water Demon, lives in a cave and Beowulf sets to kill her only to be seduced by the monster’s mother who takes the form of a beautiful woman.

Beowulf and Grendel’s mother make a deal and the warrior becomes the next king while the Water Demon gives birth to Beowulf’s son. Many years later, when Beowulf is old, the deal between him and Grendel’s mother is broken and Water Demon’s son, a dragon, attacks the kingdom. Beowulf manages to kill the dragon but is wounded and dies soon after.

The Reality

As has been mentioned above, the movie is based on the epic. However, it is an interpretation rather than a screening as, though major events are quite close to the text, the characters are very different from the original. First, Beowulf is not a very good example of a conventional warrior of the Middle Ages as he is less masculine and he is half naked throughout most of the film. Grendel is also depicted as a victim rather than hideous monster that is to be destroyed.

Grendel is that bad because people do not like him. People cause great pain to his head, which is the reason why Grendel attacks. In the text, Grendel is the evil monster who needs blood and murders. In the original, there is nothing about Grendel’s father and the dragon’s origins. In the movie these are children of Hrothgar and Beowulf respectively.

The Setting

As far as the setting is concerned, it is really specific. On one hand, the landscape is depicted true to life. However, the creators of the film were not that precise when it came to costumes, appearance and customs. Thus, the king is wearing something like a Roman toga instead of clothes worn by Vikings (Jones 20).

The movie reveals certain clichés depicting the court in the Middle Ages as a “site of uncivilized savagery” with “bad table manners and boorishness” (Jones 20). Clothes of Beowulf and his warriors do not correspond to the epoch either.

Evaluation

However, irrespective of these differences, I would recommend young people to watch the film. In the first place, this can make them read the text itself. More importantly, the movie represents a contemporary vision of people’s past. It reflects values that reign in the contemporary society.

Of course, the movie has certain artistic value. It is novel in terms of the production as it is a motion picture. It is also properly made. The performance is very good and the story develops at a proper pace. Therefore, the viewer will enjoy the great movie and will be able to think of history and development of the human society.

Works Cited

Jones, Chris. “From Heorot to Hollywood: Beowulf in Its Third Millennium.” Anglo-Saxon Culture and the Modern Imagination. Ed. David Clark and Nicholas Perkins. Rochester, NY: Boydell & Brewer, 2010. 13-31. Print.

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Reading between the Lines: The Monster That Haunted Heorot Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

There are many reasons to admire “Beowulf,” one of the most recognized poems in entire world. To start with, it is so ancient that one cannot help gasping in awe; second, “Beowulf” is the first written and, therefore, the most treasured British poem; third, the poem is truly epic from beginning to the very end; and, finally, it takes quite a while to figure out what the mysterious lines mean, which makes it close to solving a puzzle.

Taking a closer look at “Beowulf,” starting with the lines “Then a powerful demon…” (“Beowulf” 36) straight to the “frilled with the broad lap of the world,” one can taste the whole range of flavors the poem has.

The style of “Beowulf” can be defined since the very first lines sound: “Then a powerful demon, a prowler through the dark” (“Beowulf” 36); the word “powerful,” as well as “prowler” create the atmosphere of something grandeur, making the poem epic. As for the genre, it does not come just as obvious.

The realization of “Beowulf” being a poem comes rather unexpected – the writing has no rhyme, which is not typical for a poem (e.g., dark–him–banquet). It is also quite hard to define the meter of the poem, although it can be classified as the Anglo-Saxon one, with two major lifts at the very start: “then” and “power-” in the word “powerful” stand out from the rest of the line.

However, with such a poem as “Beowulf,” it is not the meter that offers the key to understanding the Anglo-Saxon poetry, but the numerous alliterations. Although the alliterations are more evident in the original, the translated version also tends to preserve the unique flair of the way the poem sounds.

For instance, if considering the line “telling the mastery of man’s beginnings”(“Beowulf” 36), one can see that the labial sound “m” is used repeatedly, along with the dental “n”; furthermore, the line “to be earth’s lamplight, lanterns for men” (“Beowulf” 36) contains an obvious “l” alliteration as well. It is also worth paying attention to the lack of punctuation variety – there are two commas in the extract at most, which adds to the impression of power and weight that the poem is full of.

Weirdly enough, there are also some prose features in Beowulf. To start with, the poem is narrated by a third person, which adds even more epic elements to Beowulf. In addition, the given extract has a couple of strikingly memorable and vivid metaphors: “a prowler through the dark” for Beowulf itself, “a gleaming plain girdled with waters” as a metaphor for the nature, “earth’s lamplight, lanterns for men” for the sun and the moon and “the broad lap of the world” to describe the entire world.

The symbolism of the poem strikes as well: the meaningful lines breathe life into the “powerful demon,” which can be interpreted as the essence of the Evil as people have known it since the dawn of time. Mentioning Beowulf and “the Almighty” in the extract leads to watching another symbol being born – the symbol of eternal fight of the Good and the Evil.

Perhaps, the fact that there is no one to speak in the poem makes the latter so powerful. With only the narrator as the first person, the reader is left alone with the terrifying monster, watching it as if Beowulf was completely real; a perfect epic piece of poem, this is the essence of “Beowulf.”

Aligning with the rest of the text perfectly, these lines do not reveal much – the only thing the piece of poem does is setting the mood and showing the gloomy monster – “a powerful demon” (“Beowulf,” 36) to the cheer of the Saxons: “the din of the loud banquet every day in the hall” (“the din of the loud banquet every day in the hall,” 36) describes the latter perfectly well.

As for the epoch in which the events took place in the poem, the information is rather obscure, and the given extract does not add anything substantial. Despite the fact that the poem is supposed to take place in pagan times, the epithet “Almighty” makes it clear that the author of the poem had certain beliefs in the superior creature; the rest remains under the veil of mystery.

However, it is worth keeping in mind that the analyzed poem is a translation, which is why in the original poem, the name of God could have sounded differently.

Therefore, it is obvious that “Beowulf” is a hard puzzle to solve and at the same time a perfect epic poem that strikes with its grandeur. Offering great food for imagination and thoughts, “Beowulf” is the kind of a poem worth reading again and again to search for the ideas hidden between the lines. And for those who read close enough, someday mysterious beasts and courageous warriors will seem magically close. Once touching the antiquity, one will never shake off the explorer’s delight.

Works Cited

“Beowulf.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 9th Edition. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt et al. New York City, NY: W. W. Norton Limited, 2012. 36. Print.

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