“There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.” – Ayn Rand. To fully understand the complex world and culture of the Anglo-Saxons, one must examine the only form of historical evidence available – texts. One particular great work from this time period is often underrated and overshadowed in modern society by many other ancient works such as Iliad or Oedipus Rex. The epic poem, Beowulf, was sung by multiple unknown Anglo-Saxon poets four centuries before the Norman Conquest. The theme of good versus evil was constantly reappearing throughout the storyline, the portrayal of evil and its downfall initially shaped the poem’s plot, and illustrates an alien presence; something that
“No better king had ever lived, no prince so mild, no man so open to his people, so deserving of praise.” This is an ultimate description of the heroic events of Beowulf, an old Anglo-Saxon poem about a warrior who battles and destroys three horrifying monsters. Although written long ago, the emotions expressed within this work, emotions of bravery, valor, and ethics still speak to us centuries later. The anonymous author of the poem convinces us through the masterful use of various literary elements that emphasize its meaning and message. Conflict, imagery and setting are three literary elements that contribute to the effectiveness of the poem.
Beowulf begins with a history of the great Danish King Scyld (whose funeral is described in the Prologue). King Hrothgar, Scyld's great-grandson, is well loved by his people and successful in war. He builds a lavish hall, called Heorot, to house his vast army, and when the hall is finished, the Danish warriors gather under its roof to celebrate.
Beowulf is an epic poem being cited as one of the most important works of Old English literature. Beowulf is an Old English epic poem. The poem is set in Scandinavia. Beowulf, a hero of Geats, comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall in Herot has been under attack by a monster named Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel's mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated. Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is mortally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants cremate his body and erect a tower on a headland in his memory. Beowulf is clearly a hero because of his brave deeds, he is a strong and responsible leader, and his courage. Beowulf is a hero because of his brave deeds. Throughout Beowulf, Beowulf does many deeds which are considered to be brave during the Anglo-Saxon period.“Grendel is no braver, no stronger/Than I am! I could kill him with my sword; I shall not,Easy as it would be. This fiend is a bold And famous fighter, but his claws and teeth.../ Beating at my sword blade, would be helpless. I will meet him With my hands empty-unless his heart /Fails him, seeing a soldier waiting /Weaponless, unafraid. Let God in His wisdom /Extend His hand where He wills, reward /Whom he chooses!”. In his first battle, Beowulf fights Grendel. He fights without any armor. Also, Beowulf kills Grendel’s mother. He then
The narrator explains that Grendel comes from “…Cain’s clan, whom the creator had outlawed / And condemned as outcasts…” (Beowulf 8). This indicates that Grendel come from a line of tainted blood. The Thanes and Geats describe both Grendel and his mother as “God-cursed” but they also describe them as kin of ogres and evil spirits. Relating the Christian story of the kin killer Cain to the origin of monsters that lurk in the dark mixes two conflicting
This epic poem written by an anonymous writer takes places during the medieval times in Heorot. The town of heorot is being troubled every night by a gruesome appearing creature by the name of Grendel. Grendel raids the mead hall of the Danish warriors and brutally kills them. Beowulf is called upon by the king of heorot, Hrothgar, to fight Grendel and save the Danish people from any more destruction. Beowulf, along with his following warriors, travel overseas to help the town. He ultimately wins however the battle is not yet over. After defeating Grendel Beowulf then has to face his overprotecting mother which he also defats later on in the story in her cave under a nearby lake. After this battle,
Some popular elements of imagery in Beowulf are the mead-hall, the sea, swords, armor including shields. Let us discuss these items and, where applicable, the archaeological support for them.
Problems are all over the world. Whether at home or out and about, problems occur every day. Hunger, famine, and war are examples of problems within a country or area that people face. It does not matter when it happens. The feeling and pain of hunger for any living species has been the same since the start of creation and will continue to be the same. No matter the time period, the issues still exist. In the poem Beowulf, written by Thomas Foster, the problems he explains and interprets, directly correlates with some issues that can happen in the time period around 2016. But with the times changing, people today face problems such as spiritual, economical, personal and psychological ‘monsters’. This era has come to the point where physical strength no longer will be an issue as it relates Beowulf and his
After a long journey, you find yourself in uncharted territory. As you scout the area, you notice a small village off in the distance. Upon approaching this settlement, you are greeted by some armed townsfolk. They attack you without warning, and take you to a large hall in the center of town. There, you see many men parading around in an intoxicated stupor, showing off their trophies and talking of their success in past battles and wars. They eat with bare hands, ripping at the food and drinking until they can no longer handle themselves, finding a home on the open floor. The hall is dressed with weapons of war, from shields to swords and everything in between. The women are wrapped in chains, fulfilling their only purpose of serving the
In the epic poem, Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, it is said, "Behavior that's admired is the path to power among people" (Beowulf 5). That being stated, it is very apparent throughout the entirety of the story. The main character, Beowulf, quickly comes to a position of power once defeating multiple atrocities and executing numerous heroic deeds. The people in the city admire Beowulf and abide to his ways; but once offered kingship, he declines. Throughout the epic poem, it is obvious that Beowulf would rather be a hero than a king because of the individual representation that comes with it, the rewards, and the self-reliant aspect.
eowulf is the longest and greatest surviving Anglo-Saxon poem. The setting of the epic is the sixth century in what is now known as Denmark and southwestern Sweden. The poem opens with a brief genealogy of the Scylding (Dane) royal dynasty, named after a mythic hero, Scyld Scefing, who reached the tribe's shores as a castaway babe on a ship loaded with treasure. Scyld's funeral is a memorable early ritual in the work, but focus soon shifts to the reign of his great-grandson, Hrothgar, whose successful rule is symbolized by a magnificent central mead-hall called Heorot. For 12 years, a huge man-like ogre named Grendel, a descendant of the biblical murderer Cain, has menaced the aging Hrothgar, raiding Heorot and killing the king's thanes (warriors).
Given, the current high profile debate with regard to dating the epic poem Beowulf, it is quite surprising that some scholars go as far as placing it during the Vendel era around 550 - 793 CE. Eventhough it is considered as a kind of folk tale, many are those who believe it happened towards the early Vendel era. As a rebuttal to this point, it might be?convincingly argued?that this period is also referred to as the Germanic Iron Age. Moreover, this era saw the rise of Norse mythology, which is very fatalistic in nature; it focuses on a world coming to an end in a great cataclysm. Along with this fatalism comes the willingness to die. That?s why warriors would go to fight in battles and combats. Surprisingly enough, not only the heroes