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Allegory In Beowulf

Decent Essays
Throughout history, literature has both mirrored and defined culture. Beowulf is the national epic of England, and it falls into the heroic poetry category. Scops passed down the story of Beowulf for many generations until it was finally written down. The story about Beowulf is that he would fight anything to gain fame or to protect people. Even though it is an ancient piece of literature, Beowulf can be viewed as an allegory for different stages of a man’s life.
Beowulf's first battle represents the early stages of adulthood, when one is young and ready to take on the world, at approximately the ages of 18 and 19. He is ready to prove himself as a worthy hero, and he is ready to do that at any cost. While modern teens may not defeat a monster,
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He had to overcome many obstacles when fighting Grendel’s mother. Some people thought he was doing this for trophies or money so he needed to prove himself even more in life. This is like when a man is doing something that he likes to do like being a doctor; which he deals with people saying that he is only saving people’s life only for money. Beowulf is trying to establish a good reputation like when a person is trying to do with trying to find a job or trying to move up within their job. When the king told Beowulf this, “I’ve heard that my people, peasants working in the fields, have seen a pair of such fiends wandering in the moors and marshes,” (Beowulf 411-414) he knew that he had to fight Grendel’s mother underwater. Beowulf had past experiences in fighting creatures underwater, “In a swimming match in the open sea…. Risking your lives on the lonely deep for a silly beast?” (Unferth Packet 389-393). He swam with Breca so a man uses the things he learned in college for his career because it got him ready for the real world so this is like Beowulf using past experiences to defeat a creature. When Beowulf killed Grendel’s mother, his name was getting out there and Hrothgar honored Beowulf for being brave and courageous. If a person does well in college, their name gets out there and that can help them find a job. After being honored by Hrothgar, Beowulf returned home and it said that, “Beowulf and his fellow Geats return home, where he eventually becomes a King. Beowulf rules Geatland for 50 years,” (Beowulf Top of Page on 56). A man finds a career which means they start to settled down and get a family. People usually find a spouse and have kids so this is like Beowulf becoming a King and not having to go earn fame so like not trying to find a job anymore. Furthermore, this point in a man’s life and Beowulf’s life is to relax and enjoy their job. Also, little that he knew
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