Conflict In Anglo-Saxon And Medieval Literature

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Conflict in both Anglo-Saxon and Medieval literature reflect the culture of the people and the time they are living in. Both of their literature heavily reflects the culture of knighthood and courtly love in the stories: “The Wanderer,” “Beowulf,” “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale,” “Sir Orfeo,” and “Lanval.” Conflict in these stories is not only used to provide reference of the culture but as well to drive the plot, provide tension and excitement, and to develop the characters in the story. Such conflicts found in the stories are human vs. self, human vs. human, human vs. society, and human vs. nature. All of these conflicts show the internal or external struggle of the main characters in the stories. Of the conflicts found in the stories the most…show more content…
Here the struggle shows Beowulf treating each battle he faces differently depending on his opponent and thus barely surviving. This conflict sets the tone for the final battle as it foreshadows that Beowulf might not make it out alive in the battle with the dragon. Beowulf’s speech before attacking the dragon, “I won’t shift a foot when I meet the cave-guard: what occurs on the wall between the two of us will turn out as fate…” helps the reader feel the tension and gravity of the battle (Beowulf 95). In the end, Beowulf meets his death after the fight but ultimately gains honor since he died fighting for his people and lord. Other instances of human vs. human are during the altercation between Russell and Chauntecleer in “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale.” In this tale, conflict is used to create suspense as to how the story will end. The bickering between Pertelote and Chauntecleer serves as foreshadowing for the confrontation between Russell and Chauntecleer. The initial conflict between Chauntecleer and Pertelote was used to continue the plot and create suspense as to whether Chauntecleer’s dream would come true. The main conflict was between the rooster and the fox because it not only provided suspense but as well served to contain a moral and develop Chauntecleer’s character from arrogant to modest and careful around those who compliment with a hidden agenda.
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