Poets are very cleaver when it come to the way they say things in their poems. Most poets don’t just come out and say what they are going to say. They seem to write about something totally off topic but then you understand what they are talking about. They are almost long metaphors, which aren’t very easy to understand. They also say someing in the way they write the poem. The structure is very important. They place things in certain ways or at certain times and you don’t really think about it unless you read the poem deeply, as in actually study it. Thomas Hardy did this in “Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave”
Throughout the ancient world reputation and respect were determined by one thing; showing off. Now men in these days showed off their strength, power, speed, greatness in battle, and courage. This was pretty much the only way you heard of anyone in these days if they were strong brave and killed a lot of people. Even look at the stories of monsters. You never hear stories about the foot long dragon stealing socks and getting rid of your rat problem. You hear about giant dragons destroying whole cities and killing for fun, trolls stealing children and monsters of all kinds doing horrible things. Men with greatness earned this in battle and being courageous. Burton Raffel’s Beowulf enforces this even more. Beowulf’s only motivation is respect and power. From the time you meet Beowulf in Burton Raffel’s Beowulf you learn of this. “In his far-off home Beowulf, Higlac’s
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Honor, putting himself out there, showing he’ll push to the limit or die to try. Beowulf puts his reputation before the people. “ I had a fixed purpose i meant to perform to the uttermost what your people wanted or perish in attempt”( Heaney, 632-638). What Beowulf is indicating is that he’ll fight and perform as he was meant to or die to try. What Beowulf projects are his honor to be the most he can, stating his internal integrity, “One could define honor as your internal integrity or dignity” (The Nine Noble Virtues, pg.2). Grendel has no honor Killing and destroying, even knowing that himself has no honor, “ Not of course that i fool myself in thoughts that i’m more noble. Pointless, ridiculous monster crochet in the shadows, stinking of dead men, murdered children, martyred cows” (Gardner,pg.6 ). How much effort does Beowulf project?
Helping the once great Hrothgar, Defeating the monstrous Grendel, and proclaiming his everlasting honor are all reasons Beowulf earned and preserved his everlasting honor. Honor can corrupt the strongest minded of men, but not in the case of Beowulf. Beowulf used his greed for honor and fame to better himself and improve the reputation of his namesake. He proved himself time and time again through countless quests and deeds, spreading his name across the lands. Due to Beowulf’s
To honor the Beowulf’s heroic life and battles, I’ve been assigned as one of his closest warriors to exclaim his appellation and share the stories of his battles. One of the citizen came up to me and asked, “I heard that Beowulf was an amazing guy, but I never fully knew him. Could you tell me more about him?” I was extremely excited as this man was the first person to ever ask me about Beowulf. “Beowulf was a strong leader and a great friend. Although he might not have been a very humble man, he was nowhere near being a bully. He’s the type of man that would belittle anyone who hurts the weak and innocent. Beowulf was mettlesome and was never intimidated by any menace.” The man’s eyes were already widen. “He sounds like a guy I would wanna be protected by,” the citizen said, “Can you tell me about one of his battles?” I prepared myself as I was about to begin a long lecture of how strong Beowulf was.
Beowulf demonstrated honor when he fought Grendel without using a weapon. Beowulf decided not to use a weapon while fighting Grendel because Grendel was unarmed. By doing this Beowulf had made the fight fair and was able to keep his honor. Beowulf would have also fought the dragon without a weapon had it been possible, but due to the dragons immense size, strength, and fiery breath he could use his sword and shield while retaining his honor. Honor is an important characteristic for an epic hero to have and Beowulf demonstrates it quite well throughout the poem.
In Beowulf's lifetime, he killed three terrible monsters. One of these monsters was a great fire breathing dragon that was hurting his people. The other two monsters were killing people in a different kingdom. Beowulf is a great warrior and went to assist the other kingdom. Throughout the epic poem, there is a theme of how will people remember you once you die? This is important to Beowulf because he needed to set a good example to the warriors, and leave a legacy for once he was dead. After Beowulf dies in the story, it reads, “Crying that no better king had ever lived, no price so mild, no man so open to his people, so deserving of praise.” (867-869) This is Beowulf's warriors mourning over his death. He had set such a great example to the warriors on how to be a true warrior that they wept over his death. They have been extremely mournful since the greatest example, they had ever seen had died. Beowulf’s motivation of becoming an example to the Anglo-Saxons before he died through being a great warrior and king was fulfilled. The example that Beowulf left became a legacy to the Anglo-Saxon warriors. Beowulf was an individual that others aspired to be like. The motivation of Beowulf's to be an example to all the Anglo- Saxon warriors is pure.
The storyline of Beowulf illustrates the epic battle between good and evil, and demonstrates to the readers that external war is not the only conflict hero’s face. Beowulf struggles a lot with his pride. Beowulf’s biggest internal battle was experienced when he was preparing to fight the dragon. He decided to go into battle, ignoring the fact that he had aged, but his pride, and warrior code wouldn’t let him run. What makes matters worse, he decided to go into the battle alone. His hero pride overcame the actions a normal king would’ve taken. The hero ideology at the time was strictly against a warrior running from a battle, and if Beowulf had done so, he would’ve been persecuted by society, as well as his own conscience.
Many readers of the poem Beowulf may find it difficult to distinguish the 'good' kings from the rest – indeed, almost every man who holds a throne in the epic is named at one point or another to be 'good'. By examining the ideals of the time period as identified by the 'heroic code', it becomes clearer that a truly 'good' king is one who generously distributes treasure and weaponry to deserving retainers to honour courage and strength displayed in battle and to encourage the defense of the kingdom (Intro). When Beowulf ascends the throne of the Geats, the heroic traits of courage and strength for which he was so highly praised as a warrior do not serve well in making him a good king. Indeed, by exhibiting the traits of a thane, that is, by
Men dominated the Anglo Saxon society and the people loved a great hero like that of Beowulf. They believed a hero should be a keeper of his promises, be boastful and produce
Some of the most common values during the Anglo-Saxon period include courage, loyalty and generosity. The Anglo-Saxon era was almost always in the state of war which is why it is a time when fighting is valued more than working things out. This meant that heroes of this period fought for fame, glory, and pride. Heroes were expected to boast. Beowulf, the best symbol for Anglo-Saxon heroes, proves this by volunteering to fight the monster just because he was bored and wanted to do something he can brag about. In the story, Beowulf boasts of his bravery by talking about his past battles and victories. Beowulf basically acts more for his own glory than for the general well-being to his people. While in our modern period,
“Beowulf” is a medieval heroic epic. The poem originated on the basis of ancient traditions related to pagan times. The poem represent an early example of precisely moral heroism, but not the one that is caused by the desire for fame and power. The main character of the poem, Beowulf, is capable of sacrificing himself and courage in the name of justice. He is a true hero by honoring his country and exerting his power and strength to protect others. His courage is shown by not hesitating to risk his own life to pursue the Dane’s enemies. By being self-assured, Beowulf is able to successfully defeat the fiends, Grendel and his infamous mother. At the time Beowulf is planning to pursue the vindictive dragon, the epic poem states, “I’ve never known fear, as a youth I fought in endless battles. I am old now, but I will fight again, seek fame still, If the dragon hiding in his tower dares to face me.” (ll. 2511-2515). He feels no fear, is confident in fighting the dragon alone, and has no qualms in risking his life to save others. He declares his bravery by saying, “When he comes to me I mean to stand, not run from his shooting flames, stand till fate decides which of us wins... No one else could do what I mean to, here, no man but me could hope to defeat this monster.” (ll. 2525-2534) In his actions, Beowulf’s bravery is clearly shown throughout the poem. As king, Beowulf is the
Honor fuels Beowulf in ever battle he goes into he always fought with honor. Beowulf goes into each and every battle looking and fighting with honor “Is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none/…Alone shall Fight for me, struggle for life/against the monster” (line 263-269).Beowulf does not have to go into the battle without his weapons, but he does and make it a far fight. The people hero comes to free the people of Denmark from Grendel evil head “ended the grief’s, the sorrow, the suffering/Forced on Hrothgar’s helpless people/By a bloodthirsty fiend (line 405-407). Beowulf heard the cry of the people that where not even his own but comes to free them anyway. Honor was just one of the many things Beowulf earns fame followed as he continued doing
The world as it is depicted in Beowulf is home to many aspects of society that are at odds with behaviors acceptable in modern culture, but perhaps shares a startling number of similarities as well. As part of the Anglo-Saxon society, the concept of loyalty is imbued into the seams of the civilization, and allegiance can be found split between lords and kin. Tales concerning themselves with eternal human problems are not few and far between in Beowulf—given that it is an epic poem—and antithesis governs the flow of the narrative. In the midst of the battles raging between evil and good, heroes and villains, mourning and glory, and victory and defeat, death is omnipresent, constantly looming and prompting men to drift towards their swords. This is a society in which chances for a clean slate—a tabula rasa—are minimal, and every action is chiseled in stone, forever etched into eternity. During a time period when very little is certain, the only guarantee of being remembered, of having your name go down stamped with your identity, is through heroism and action. Boasting is a means through which one can build a reputation for himself, planting his name into his opponents’ heads and setting a foundation for success. It remains a skill to be used prudently, though, as overstating and misrepresenting one’s abilities has the great potential to yield adverse repercussions.
The Anglo- Saxons always strived for fame, a warrior was always prepared to die as for one could become famous for his feats on the battlefield. “I’ve avenged their crimes, and the Danes they’ve killed. And I promise you that whoever sleeps in Herot- You, your brave soldiers, anyone of all the people in Denmark, old or young - they, and you, may now sleep without fear of either monster, mother or son. (75)” Receiving fame through a great feat in war was a best way for a warrior to achieve honor in death. Each character was defined by a status, and that status was in a formation of their fame, their accomplishments. In this case, Beowulf’s fame was created by the many great deeds and battles he’s fought. “Of sea-huge monsters I killed. What man, anywhere under Heaven’s high arch, has fought in such darkness, endured more misery or been harder? (41)” In the Anglo-Saxon culture, it was so important for the warriors to be proud of what they did and sought fame from them.
Beowulf showed his honor as he traveled from his homeland to battle the vicious monster Grendel, who was terrorizing the Danes. Grendel “Raided and ravaged” the mead hall, showing no honor by killing intoxicated men in their sleep. Beowulf knows that there is a chance that he may die in his great battle against Grendel when he says, “If death does take me, send the hammered mail of my armor to Higlac…”, yet he is still willing to attempt to defeat Grendel. A hero in the Anglo-Saxon time is always very confident, as well he should be. It would serve no purpose to face battle with doubt of ones ability to do so, and with fear of all that awaits him. Beowulf’s morality came also in the form of loyalty to people and his word. Promises by Beowulf were kept . Acceptance of death, and care for the welfare of his people were Beowulf’s greatest virtues. His