Beowulf vs. Eaters of the Dead

1645 Words May 1st, 2007 7 Pages
Great Literary Epics of the Past
The Roman conquest of England in 43 AD, coinciding with the introduction of Christian values, the alphabet and writing utensils was the start of a new Era. Missionaries sent by the Roman Pope to England influenced the pagan values of the native Britanie, as exemplified in their literature. Anglo-Saxons, whom contributed the features of a literary Epic, were torn between pagan beliefs and Christian values as their predecessors had been. The first literary Epic, Beowulf, illustrates the struggle between these two ideologies, as well as contributes the sought after values of heroism. The Eaters of the Dead also demonstrates this struggle between cultures, playing off Beowulf in theme. Excalibur, the Arthurian
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The story line soon takes off when the reader finds Fadlan is forced to play the role of the thirteenth warrior in a quest to destroy the terror that plagues these people. Being a common man of middle age, the protagonist fears for his life so refuses the position of greatness- only to have it thrust upon his as Beowulf did. "I protested I was not a warrior. Verily I made all the excuses and pleadings that I could imagine might have effect upon this rude company of beings. I demanded that the interpreter convey my words to Buliwyf, and yet he turned away and left the hall, saying this last speech: ‘Prepare yourself as you think best. You shall leave on the morning light.'"

As weeks pass Fadlan is forced to do battle with the Northerners, for, as he sees it, either course of action may end in death, so why not go forth in battle. Growing more accustom to the brutish ways of the Vikings, Fadlan soon sinks into their lifestyle, feeling proud of himself in battle, as well as partaking in the Northerner's- once discomforting – openness of sexual pleasures. Though adapting to much of the Viking way of life, Fadlan continues to express his fears openly, only to overcome it faced with his most feared obstacle- heights.
"Also it is true that I was much aggrieved at the prospect of climbing down the cliff. Verily I felt in this manner: that I should rather do any action upon the face of the earth, whether to lie with a women in menses,

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