Symbols In Beowulf

Decent Essays
In Beowulf, the poet represents the symbol of the scop. The poet gets introduced by his illustrious tales of the days of old and the creation of the world; “Call and the poet’s clear songs, sung/Of the ancient beginnings of us all, recalling/The Almighty making the earth, shaping/These beautiful plains marked off by ocean” (5-8). The poet sings songs and majestic stories to the people of Herot as a form of entertainment, he sings because he has to for a living. The poet does not change people’s ideas rather, he acts as a storyteller entertaining people during times of celebration and joy; “A poet/Sang, from time to time, in a clear/Pure voice. Danes and visiting Geats/Celebrated as one, drank and rejoiced” (229-232). The songs and stories…show more content…
The shaper’s introduction describes a blind old man arriving to Herot one night; “One night, inevitably, a blind man turned up at Hrothgar’s temporary meadhall. He was carrying a harp” (Gardner 40). The shaper brings hope to the Danes. He tells fabricated stories of past Danes and how great they were to get the people of Herot excited and motivated. The shaper’s words are so powerful that he inspires Hrothgar to build a bigger mead hall. The shaper acts as a wise old teacher that eventually the people of Herot come to rely on for stability. He represents a time of new, filled with religion and Christian beliefs; “He told of an ancient feud between two brothers which split all the world between darkness and light. And I, Grendel, was the dark side, he said in effect. The terrible race God cursed” (Gardner 51). The stories told about religion are so powerful that he shapes the mind of Grendel into this evil creature God cursed. The dragon’s description of the shaper tells how the Danes need him for more than just entertainment but also for stability and guidance; “Shaper saves them. Provides an illusion of reality-puts together all their facts with a gluey whine of connectedness” (Gardner 65). When the shaper dies, the Danes are thrown into morning and a time of despair. The depiction of the scop in Grendel, resembles a wise disciple, guiding the Danes through the mysteries of life using religion and
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