Beowulf / Grendel Comparison Beowulf Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Literature Type: Term Paper Paper: #61633153 Related Topics: Beowulf, Seamus Heaney, Ring Of Fire, Atmosphere
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Heaney's translation may seem a little more indirect since it is in verse, and given from an objective perspective but the message stays the same in both texts. Thus, Beowulf replies to Unferth's challenge by giving this time his own account of his sea experiences and the way in which he had defeated all the monsters. First of all, in both texts Beowulf begins by returning the mockery and telling Unferth that he has only spoken thus because he was under the influence of the drinks he had that night. At this point, there is a very important element that is mentioned only in Heaney's version of the episode: Beowulf declares he has been kept safe against all odds because of the golden armor he was wearing: "My armor helped me hold out/my hard ringed chain mail, hand forged and linked, / a fine close fitting filigree of gold / kept me safe when some ocean creature pulled me to the bottom."(Heaney) as it is well-known, at the times when the legend was written, the golden armor was a sign that a hero was a chosen being, protected by divine forces. In Gardner's text, the implication is similar, since Beowulf remarks that fate itself preserved him from perishing, but there is no mention of the symbolic golden armor.

The main point of the fragment comes at the end, when Beowulf makes a definite impression on the audience with his speech. Thus, if Unferth attempted to make Beowulf seem only a boastful character, it is clear now that the hero is in fact a chosen person, whose actions have been guided by a superior force. Thus, Beowulf states that he may seem indeed boastful, but that he in fact only tells the truth and that his feats are truly extraordinary. In Heaney's translation, Beowulf draws the attention of the audience that the very madness he has been accused of by Unferth is the sign of the undaunted courage of the hero who knows that fate has already marked him and that he is on a sacred mission to do good and save the men...

...

However it occurred, my sword had killed / nine sea monsters. Such night dangers / and hard ordeals I have never heard of / nor of a man more desolate in surging waves."(Heaney) Here, the texts converge, and in Gardner's version, Beowulf draws a similar conclusion: "Fate often enough will spare a man if his courage holds."(Gardner) Thus, Beowulf emphasizes that his glory resides both in the fact that he is obviously a chosen hero, and in the fact that, as opposed to the other thanes in the hall, he has not only proven his valor and strength but he has actually fought against evil and delivered the people from nine dreadful monsters. The others, as Beowulf notices, have only waged wars against their own kin, and therefore they will be damned: "You killed your own kith and kin, / so for all your cleverness and quick tongue/you will suffer damnation in the depths of hell"(Heaney) Towards the end, Gardner's translation brings a few more additional commentaries to the text: the atmosphere in the hall has changed during Beowulf's speech and no one is laughing anymore: "Now the Danes weren't laughing. The stranger said it all so carefully, so softly, that it was impossible to laugh. He believed every word he said."(Gardner) understood at last the look in his eyes. He was insane."(Gardner) the sudden silence is meant to describe the effect that Beowulf's words have on the others, and to emphasize the fact that he is a sacred person. Moreover, Gardner describes Beowulf's attitude, underlying his solemnity and superior detachment: "Even so, I wasn't prepared for what came next. Nobody was. Solemn, humorless despite the ironic smile, he suddenly cut deep- yet with the same mildness, the same almost inhuman indifference except for the pale flash of fire in his eyes."(Gardner)

Thus, the text differ a little when analyzed in detail, but the basic message is the same: Beowulf is a chosen hero, protected by the divinity, and who came on a sacred mission to deliver people from the evil.

Cite this Document:

"Beowulf Grendel Comparison Beowulf" (2007, September 17) Retrieved June 17, 2021, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/beowulf-grendel-comparison-beowulf-35744

"Beowulf Grendel Comparison Beowulf" 17 September 2007. Web.17 June. 2021. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/beowulf-grendel-comparison-beowulf-35744>

"Beowulf Grendel Comparison Beowulf", 17 September 2007, Accessed.17 June. 2021,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/beowulf-grendel-comparison-beowulf-35744

Related Documents
Beowulf in the Epic Poem
Words: 1253 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Mythology Paper #: 27156

And all that would remain would be their brothers to mourn them, inconsolable. The anxiety expressed by this poem is acutely felt and accurately represents the norms of the era. During this era, if someone was killed by someone else, the family of the slain person would have to kill the murderers in order to avenge the death of their beloved. Thus, it makes perfect sense that the poem goes

Grendel and After That IT's Elephants All
Words: 2381 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 9020257

Grendel And After that it's Elephants All the Way Done Wagner's Grendel is one of the most finely crafted pieces of postmodern fiction because it performs both of the functions with which postmodern literature is tasked. First, it is a work of literature that shines on its own, that offers a significant reward to the reader regardless of whether or not the reader is familiar with literary traditions. Second, the work addresses,

Beowulf on the Surface, the Poem Beowulf
Words: 1505 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 26870637

Beowulf On the surface, the poem Beowulf seems to be a simple tale of a brave hero who triumphs over three monsters and engages in several other battles in order to preserve what is "just" and right. A more thorough reading, however, reveals that the epic poem is filled with events that symbolize historical and social conditions that prevailed during the European reign of the Scandinavians in the seventh century to

Beowulf the Titular Character of
Words: 1154 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 2140392

Nevertheless, he is resolute in his decision to face the dragon in order to continue on towards his attainment of the paradoxical heroic ideal, even if he recognizes that this ideal may be the cause of unwarranted pain and suffering, and thus tells his men that "this fight is not yours, / nor is it up to any man except me / to measure his strength against the monster

Beowulf & the Tale Comparing
Words: 1277 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 59472156

A hero's failure in the face of adversity is more common in the Japanese struggle, perhaps because the author had to make the narrative conform to history, at least in some of its elements. Also, rather than show how the good works of the hero support all good people, even people who are not immediate members of Beowulf's kingdom, "Heike" is a military struggle of 'us vs. them' although

Beowulf & Odysseus Compare and
Words: 1586 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 75480027

Beowulf's story is being told by Christian tribes. He finds nature on his side because God is on his side - and he works within Gods will. He does not fight gods or nature, but rather only fights irrevocably evil demons. He is associated with a pious culture which is not humanistic, and in which science and other such forms of hubris are not encouraged. Beowulf is a truly