Beowulf

1778 WordsApr 24, 20128 Pages
In the classic epic Beowulf we follow the great hero from his time as a young boy to his final moments as King of the Geats. During this many traits of various characters are revealed to us, none however as in depth as what is revealed about the titular figure of Beowulf. This is done through a jumble of Pagan and Christian values that are being bounced between throughout the text. Many of his ‘softer’ virtues such as forgiveness, generosity and commitment, seem to stem primarily from the Christian values whereas his ‘harsher’ virtues such as bravery, resourcefulness, and determination seem to stem more from the Pagan/ Germanic values. This conflict stems directly from the era in which this epic was written. During a time when Christianity…show more content…
Another Christian trait that we see in Beowulf is that of Generosity. He first exhibits this trait within the first passage of the story. Upon his departure for Denmark: He announced his plan to sail the swan’s road and seek out that king, the famous prince who needed defenders. nobody tried to keep him from going, no elder denied him, dear as he was to them.(38. 199-203) Her we see Beowulf embarking on a journey in which he easily could not have survived the trip simply because Hrothgar needed help. This show how selfless Beowulf is and the fact that this is included within the first passage is very deliberate as it serves to set the tone for the rest of the story. Essentially this is the first impression that the reader gets of Beowulf so naturally the author sought to make it a good one. Also the author includes a bit of foreshadowing within this quote. By including the line “no elder denied him, dear as he was to them.” This shows his importance to the Geats even before he has become king. This seems to indicate that he had some predisposed inclination for greatness. Essentially the author is telling us that Beowulf will be more important to the Geats in the future than he already is. Beowulf’s life ends on a very similar note. When he slays the dragon at the end of the story he is also mortally wounded. Upon Wiglaf bringing
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