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What does it mean to be good in the world described in Beowulf?
The way that good is described in the world of Beowulf, is as an individual who is: masculine, fearless and strong. The main character (i.e. Beowulf) is the classical depiction of this person. As he will continually, fight and slay the dragon that has been terrorizing the Danes. The way that he acts and carries himself throughout the story is the classic example of the all these elements of good combined into one. As a result, Beowulf is the ideal standard that all males in the community and society should be striving towards. Those who are able to do this will be seen as a hero, who will protect their community and family. ("Themes and Motifs," 2012)
What is the relationship between individual prowess and ethical virtue in Beowulf?
In the story, prowess and ethical virtues…… [Read More]
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 exactly along this route. However, by doing so it again expresses both the anxiety of the era and the dichotomous views of good and evil. For Grendel's mother comes to avenge his death and she is described as "Devil-shaped woman, her woe ever minded,/ho was held to inhabit the horrible waters…His mother moreover/Eager and gloomy was anxious to go on/Her mournful mission, mindful of vengeance/for the death of her son." In this instance, one can see that the anxiety and…… [Read More]
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 around the ninth century, following the Danish invasion of England (Sisson 1996).
Analysts additionally point out that Beowulf's author was a person who has a "strong sense of cultural diversity" (Frank 1982: 52).
Though the author was most likely Christian, he or she also had a strong understanding of the pagan moral code. This was illustrated in the way Beowulf was able to move through different European societies with ease.
This essay looks at the heroic code that is…… [Read More]
In this context, Beowulf is indeed the preserver of order against the darkness and anarchy brought by the violent, evil forces: "The circle of light that is human life is constantly under attack by the powers of Chaos and darkness, and the hero fends them off as well as he can, purging Heorot and Grendel's mere, fighting monsters in the waters, harrowing Hell in order that God's light may shine the more clearly upon His creation."(Grant, 51) However, as Grant indicates, Beowulf's story is interpretable as the archetypical conflict between light and darkness, rather than that between good and evil in a Christian or moral sense.
However, there are arguments in favor of a Christian interpretation of the text as well. hile the poem evidently blends Christian and pagan symbols, it can be said that the anonymous author may have intended a moral interpretation of a pagan legend. In this…… [Read More]
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 / or to prove his worth. I shall win the gold / by my courage, or else mortal combat / doom of battle, will bear your lord away" (Heaney 169, 171). Beowulf knows that his end is near, and thus he does not want assistance from his men, because he would rather they be safe than risk the possibility that their aid keeps him from dying altogether, or worse, allows him to die a peaceful, disgraceful death.
Beowulf is eventually aided…… [Read More]
Because of its importance to the Anglo-Saxons, and especially because of its ability to transform the Anglo-Saxon society from a pagan to a Christian culture, the contemporary era is in aw of the mere power of Beowulf.
Thus, Beowulf is a literary masterpiece on many counts. From its timeless depiction of the struggle of good vs. evil and comic book-like characters who take the world by storm to its symbolism and religious allusions, Beowulf has the ability to capture and keep audiences across millennia. hat is truly remarkable about this poem, however, and what sets it apart from other similar texts is the fact that there is "something more." That something more has to do with the cultural implications of Beowulf, the importance it held as a piece of folklore, and the degree with which it was able to influence the Anglo-Saxon society. In an era where a debate among…… [Read More]
While she is also monstrous and outcast, Grendel's mother is nonetheless also a sympathetic and emotional creature to a much greater extent than her son.
The dragon that attacks Beowulf contrasts with Grendel's mother, in that his motivation is purely material. A further contrast is that the dragon's revenge attack is levelled at opponents that are disproportionate to his extreme power. Grendel's mother in turn was a single, female creature against fourteen strong, young warriors.
Beowulf could be seen as parallel to Grendel in terms of complexity of motivation. In terms of revenge, his motives are at least as complex as those of the monster. Generally the reasons for Beowulf's battles relate to the protection of his and others' values or lives. The battle against Grendel for example could not truly be termed revenge, as Beowulf's motivation relates to the living rather than the dead.
3. Hrothgar's sermon is centrally…… [Read More]
The tale would not be told at a single event, but it would be narrated with one event from the hero's life at a time. Also, the singer had to recount the story of the hero as it was and he was usually a very educated man with great knowledge of history and of poetry. (Snell, M)
It is believed that the Angles and the Scandinavians kept in touch and exchanged cultural experiences until the 7th century when the Angles converted to Christianity. (Snell, M)
The poem is very likely to have suffered changes as the years passed and many of the episodes that it contains in the present have been added by various writers and poets. Clearly, the poem had been altered by the Christians also and by their attempt to change it so that it could favor religion and Christianity. It was published several times under a variety…… [Read More]
The poem is not merely about Beowulf, no more than a funeral is only for the dead. In fact, Beowulf's name is more often referred to by the kenning, or poetic stand in of the words great leader, rather than his individual name.
Beowulf's funeral as a warrior is not an individually celebrated event, like a contemporary funeral. As he was a warrior for his people, his death is a collectively mourned experience in which the entire community participates, and in which warriors and leaders perform the symbolic, ceremonial acts, not only members of the immediate hero's family. Although Beowulf is extraordinary, he belongs to the community. His wife is given only a few sentences of description, not particularly flattering, while the poet treats in loving details the actions of the men who mourn the hero.
Despite the uniqueness of the man and the funeral, there is also a sense…… [Read More]
e read, "From his high-born comrades; that hand-picked troop / broke ranks and ran for their lives / to the safety of the wood" (256-9). This is obviously an act of disloyalty because the men do not help Beowulf but disappear into the forest for safety. However, one man remains. iglaf does not succumb to feat like others do and we are told, "But within one heart/sorrow welled up: in a man of worth/the claims of kinship cannot be denied" (2659-601). The Beowulf poet emphasizes loyalty by having the other men run away. iglaf's spirit "did not break" (2628) and he proved to be the bravest of the brave even though he was young and lacked experienced. Here we see how loyalty and honor require an individual to be strong in the face of danger.
The dragons in this story represent the dangers that exist in the world. hile they…… [Read More]
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 the narrator shows heroism on both sides, even while the authors clearly favor the older, aristocratic side of the Minamoto. Heroes show loyalty to their lords, they do not work to do great deeds for all of humanity like "Beowulf"
The Tale of Heike" does contain tales of heroes overcoming supernatural monsters, like "Beowulf." After taking his own life the dead prince is eulogized by his slaying of "the Nue, a supernatural flying creature who had been nightly harassing the emperor"…… [Read More]
" (Ibid) eflecting on Hall's revelation of Gardner's interpreting Beowulf's in terms of "the Three Ages, in which "youth is identified with the irascible part, middle age with concupiscence, and old age with the search for wisdom." Biblical comparisons include:
Youth: "Foolishness [is] bound in the heart of a child..." Proverbs 25:15. (Blue Letter Bible)
Middle Age: "The glory of young men [is] their strength..." Proverbs 20: 29. (Ibid)
Old Age: And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that [is] on the sea shore. I Kings 4:29. (Ibid)
The world of the dragon emphasizes endings and age," Abraham states. evelation 12:9 talks about the end of the age of time on earth: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and…… [Read More]
hen the Beowulf poet describes his hero fighting evil, it is important to understand that the poem expresses a specifically medieval Christian conception of evil. Although scholars have debated and argued over whether these Christian passages which justify the fighting through defining the poem's monstrous antagonists as "evil," the passages as they exist in the text of Beowulf seem like straightforward moral glosses upon the action which occurs in the poem. By the time Hrothgar invokes for the final time the recurrent Christian definition of evil that runs throughout the poem, it is clear that each definition of evil is artfully arranged by the poet or compositor. If the scholarship is correct which suggests the Christian lines in the poem are, in fact, a later insertion, I will argue that the coherence of these passages, and the inability to remove them from the text as it exists, make them…… [Read More]
Beowulf is an example of the perfect hero. He is selfless, in that he sacrifices his safety to save other people. He is also lonely, ironically as lonely as Grendel in his own way, as he waits for the monster he must kill alone in the hall. However, Beowulf is also tied in a network of social obligations to his lord and king, as he only agrees to fight Grendel after obtaining permission from the king to embark upon his feats of valor. Later, when he becomes king himself his lords mourn him, as is their obligation to their beloved leader. The Middle Ages was an era where individuals were forced to depend upon one another in a series of social relationships and bonds that held society together. The lord must honor his king with obedience and bravery just like the king must protect his lords. However, even in…… [Read More]
Having been written somewhere between the 8th and 11th centuries and being one of the best known heroic epic poems, Beowulf certainly makes more recent stories appear less important. The legend deals with the main character as he has to undergo a series of tasks battling the story's three antagonists: Grendel, its mother, and a mysterious dragon that the male protagonist battles during the last moments of his life. It is very probable that the story circulated in a fragmentary version for several years until a particularly experienced poet altered it and brought it in its current state. There is much controversy about the epic because it is very complex and it does not present the public with clear details that they can later identify as belonging to a certain genre. Given that it is a long poem, it celebrates events that are culturally significant, and it presents the…… [Read More]
The story of Beowulf includes a professional bard who accompanies himself on a harp and sings or chants traditional lays, who improvises a song about Beowulf's victory.
Perhaps the Bard embellished the real story a little to flatter the great man. The king may not have been fighting a dragon, actually it may have been a bear that had been killing off people in his kingdom. hen Beowulf kills Grendel in the beginning of the tale, the monster's mother takes revenge on the warriors by sneaking in to the hall at night and killing one of the king's advisors. Beowulf takes out after her, hunts her down in the bottom of a swamp, and kills her with a sword. He finds the corpse of Grendel there and brings back a hunter's trophy, the head of the monster (which presumably he stuffs and hangs on his wall).
or the mighty king…… [Read More]
The epic poem Beowulf consists of two distinct parts held together by the person of the hero. These two parts balance each other, demonstrating a heroic life in youth and old age. Briefly the poem begins with Hrothgar, King of the Danes, who is terrorized by Grendel, a monster who comes night after night for twelve years to carry off and devour the vassals of Herot. Beowulf of Geats hears of the monster and resolves to defeat the monster. hen Grendel comes a Beowulf defeats the monster in hand to hand combat tearing off an arm. The next night Grendel's mother comes to avenge his death killing one of Hrothgar's counselors. Beowulf follows her to the sea bottom and eventually slays the woman monster. Beowulf leaves Herot a hero and returns to Geats and becomes king of his own people. After fifty years under his rule Geats is put…… [Read More]
This is an archetype that appears again and again throughout history, more as a way to extrapolate and emphasize the best that humans can offer as opposed to being born into a tradition of royalty. The saving of society, though, is usually met with grave personal sacrifice, sometimes of wealth, more often of loved ones, or, in the case of Beowulf, the ultimate sacrifice -- giving up one's own life in the service of society (affel intro). So, too, fate is interspersed with a very simple concept of armor -- which corresponds to linage, reputation, and the essentials of what makes an individual unique, certainly not just that they were born of royal blood, but that somewhere and somehow they reached down to the very depths of their soul and found the courage, stamina and something "heroic" in which mere mortals can only hope for:
Beowulf donned his armor for…… [Read More]
hen Grendel is slain, a triumphant and bloody ritual is made of his body that is anything but respectful in tone. "It was a task for four to hoist Grendel's head on a spear and bear it under strain to the bright hall." (113) Beowulf tells the tale of Grendel's slaying to the court both as a tale of good vs. evil, and as a spectacle of his military prowess. And when the mother of Grendel takes revenge, this creates a sense of an earlier, matriarchal order of revenge that is ultimately succumbed to Beowulf's greater military might and strength. At the end of the tale, heroics and heroic rewards are fused with fighting with a cause of Christian good, while bestial threats to the community are not simply frightening in a pagan sense, but evil and immoral as well. Although the pagan and Christian elements of the text at…… [Read More]
Beowulf: Examining Grendel
One of the reasons that Beowolf is such a timeless text is because of the entrancing ambiguity of many of the characters described. Perhaps the most quixotic is Grendel, an entity which is described as monstrous, but which might not actually be a monster. This paper will discuss how Grendel in many respects embodies so many forms of all that is monstrous. However, when determining if Grendel is a human being or more of a supernatural monster, this paper will show how the text demonstrates that he is indeed a monster.
Some scholars think that Grendel is intended to just be a human who is symbolic of supreme evil and all that is monstrous, however that is just incorrect. For example, some scholars will use the following quote as evidence that Grendel is actually human during his scuffle with Beowolf: “suffered grievous pain; a gaping wound opened…… [Read More]
Your answer should be at least five sentences long.
The Legend of Arthur
Lesson 1 Journal Entry # 9 of 16
Journal Exercise 1.7A: Honor and Loyalty
1. Consider how Arthur's actions and personality agree with or challenge your definition of honor. Write a few sentences comparing your definition (from Journal 1.6A) with Arthur's actions and personality.
2. Write a brief paragraph explaining the importance or unimportance of loyalty in being honorable.
Lesson 1 Journal Entry # 10 of 16
Journal Exercise 1.7B: Combining Sentences
Complete the Practice Activity on page 202 of your text. After completing this activity, read over your Essay Assessment or another journal activity you've completed.
* Identify three passages that could be improved by combining two or more sentences with coordinating or subordinating conjunctions. Below the practice activity in your journal, write the original passages and the revised sentences you've created.
* Be sure to…… [Read More]
Beowulf and Treasure
In the epic poem Beowulf, the hero is one born to wealth and raised to wealth. This position, rather than making him weak, has allowed Beowulf to become respected in his community as a man of generosity and, because of his skills as a warrior, immense courage. To this extent, the reader sees Beowulf engaging in acts of bravery and of generosity towards his fellow men. Contrast this to the more evil characters, both the monsters Grendel and his mother and the monstrous humans that Beowulf encounters. Those who are ungenerous are invariably the wicked characters, both lacking kindness towards fellow men and the heroic bravery of a Beowulf. Money and treasure are shown in the poem as markers of respect and of decency. Those who give it are treated heroically, as is evidenced at Beowulf's funeral. Those who hoard it are shown to be wicked. In…… [Read More]
Those with issues to overcome are always more heroic. Hector also becomes a hero when, after at first running from Achilles, he eventually stands up to him and dies a heroic death.
The Iliad is primarily a war epic. In your opinion, is the Iliad condemnation of the it could easily be argued that the Illiad glorifies war, as much of the poem is spent portraying the warriors as brave and courageous, even as they go on killing rampages. Warriors are describes as "masters of the battle cry" and "warlike" in glowing epithets. When Achilles originally refused to fight, he is roundly condemned for it by all of the other Greek characters. Even the weapons of war, such as Achilles impenetrable shield, are glorified. But homer is more complicated than simple -- war also brings death, which he describes in great detail. Hector's death is perhaps the most graphic of…… [Read More]
Beowulf is a hero who embodies the ideal characteristics in the Anglo-Saxon culture; these characteristics all come together to make up an epic tale. He possesses the traits and beliefs that were respected in the Anglo-Saxon culture. Beowulf displays these traits in his own actions and words during different circumstances throughout the tale. Beowulf is shown to be the strongest among the strong. Physical strength was very much embraced by the Anglo-Saxon culture. Beowulf could slay the greatest monster of all, Grendel who lived in the woods. The portrayal and evil predictions of the eerie woods indicates an unwelcome place, especially as it is widely known by the people to inhabit evil monsters in the form of Grendel and his mother.
Predictability is something that is many times mentioned throughout this tale. Although many times correct, some predictions seem to be a foreshadow of evil things to come. Other predictions…… [Read More]
Once this has been discussed, it is somewhat easier to translate Einstein's concept to the poet's own courageous scientific imagination, as scene in the scene from "eowulf" previously mentioned. Just as the modern scientist, the poet introduces and, subsequently, tries to understand and explain, the idea of chaotic events, events that cannot be explained by the traditional ideas.
Despite his own behavior aimed at avoiding conflict, eowulf cannot control all the forces and objects/individuals in his realm. This is why the conflict is triggered by one of his men ("ut a certain man / stumbled on it,/into the heathen hoard,/and took a cup,/a large, decorated treasure"). As mentioned, the event itself lacks the previous logic according to which the battles were fought because of the unprovoked attack of the enemy (Grendel, Grendel's mother).
Here, the event cannot be explained by the previous laws of physics (the attack is not caused…… [Read More]
eowulf'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. eowulf is a truly medieval hero, just as Odysseus was Grecian.
This difference in culture, between the material and the heavenly, is seen in every aspect of the two characters and their lives. It exists also in their ends. Odysseus spends his entire story seeking a way home to the home of his body - to his wife, his child, his fields and bed. eowulf is seeking only the ultimate good, and he turns down physical reward and even resists kingship until it is forced…… [Read More]
It is his own acknowledgment of his glory and honor that allows him to stand as an example to future generations. Folk epics are not meant only to recall historical details, but also to inspire modern heroes; the world of Beowulf and the world for which it was written both required strong heroes who knew the honor and righteousness of their actions.
Beowulf is more than the story of a hero's life, journey and adventures, and death. It is the story of a type of person and a people that the author and original readers of Beowulf felt an intimate longing for. As a folk epic, the tale of Beowulf is meant to draw people together in a common history, and to inspire them to the same types of glory that the heroes of the past achieved. Its purpose is to achieve solidarity in the admiration of a common hero,…… [Read More]
XV were Christian is beyond doubt; and it is equally certain that Beowulf was composed in a Christianised England, since conversion took place in the sixth and seventh centuries. Yet the only Biblical references in Beowulf are to the Old Testament, and Christ is never mentioned. The poem is set in pagan times, and none of the characters is demonstrably Christian. In fact, when we are told what anyone in the poem believes, we learn that they are pagans. Beowulf's own beliefs are not expressed explicitly. He offers eloquent prayers to a higher power, addressing himself to the "Father Almighty" or the "Wielder of All." Were those the prayers of a pagan who used phrases the Christians subsequently appropriated? or, did the poem's author intend to see Beowulf as a Christian Ur-hero, symbolically refulgent with Christian virtues" (Yeager)
Interesting though Vis and amin share some characteristics with Hellenistic romances written…… [Read More]
sof Hengest, though the employment of this striking phrase within the space of a few lines to designate both the opposing parties must be regarded as confusing" (rown) This not only provides confusion for the interpretation and translation of the poem but also for the actual context and flow of events. Thus, this can be an example of transmutation that in turn can determine the value of a translated version or its lack of consistency.
Another important aspect in relation to the style of writing is focused on the artistic literary techniques. More precisely, the accent lies in the way in which the verse and the rhyme are constructed. Up to the interpretation of Tolkien, the rhyme and the verse were considered as lacking precision and value. Still the rhyme is thoroughly analyzed for any potential matching to an already invented system of rhythm and alliterations. A perfect example in…… [Read More]
Off from the sill there
Bent mead-benches many, as men have informed me,
Adorned with gold-work, where the grim ones did struggle.
The Scylding wise men weened ne'er before
That by might and main-strength a man under heaven
Might break it in pieces, bone-decked, resplendent,
Crush it by cunning, unless clutch of the fire
In smoke should consume it. (12. 62-73)
The physical properties that Hrothgar's men had built into the Hall withstood this battle of good vs. evil. Heorot was intended to be a place of greatness and glory to God which gave it the symbolic ability to make good prevail and evil sink.
After Beowulf's victory over Grendel, Beowulf must travel to Grendel's home to do battle with his monstrous mother. Her den is described by Hrothgar to Beowulf as an evil place shrouded in darkness, yet "there ever at night one an ill-meaning portent / a fire-flood…… [Read More]
When Grendel tries to attack the place, it is seen as the attack of chaos aimed at structure and order. "Then a powerful demon, a prowler in the dark, / nursed a hard grievance" (86-87). Grendel is not an intelligent enemy but he is definitely powerful. His immense power turns him into a dangerous force since reason doesn't reside inside him. The hall was a symbol of civilization as the poet informs us: "inside Heorot / there was nothing but friendship" (1017-1018). Thus hall has immense symbolic value in the book and is aptly described as the "greatest house / in the world" (145-146).
Beowulf is perfectly aware of the importance of Heorot. He knows that by saving the place, and defeating Grendel, he could actually be presented with the greatest house on earth. In a passage, he acknowledges the worth and value of this place:
The men hurried forward,…… [Read More]
Not wanting to kill but rather to set sail
On streams of love and waves of joy
The children of Krindle each one reached
Like lotus blossoms from mud ponds high
Toward the sky and toward the light
Blessed by sun and nourished by wind
They wanted only that they could have been
A flower that smiled upon each eye that saw
That saw the children of Krindle as children of God
Their tears did nourish further the land
The swamp teeming with life started to fester
Heat sweltering and searing the skin of creatures
All who would pass saw not the love filled flower
None who passed smelled anything but death
All who passed spat on them or stomped down
Squeezing out life before they had the chance to grow
They strived for beauty as fresh as birds
For petals soft as infant's cheeks
And for kisses scented like…… [Read More]
Beowulf is one of the oldest heroic sagas in existence, yet it contains many themes that occur and reoccur in modern heroic literature. The hero is designated as 'special,' with a 'special' mission to aid others. He faces a series of trials that enable him to help others and prove his manhood at the same time. Yet ultimately, Beowulf is a lonely man, set apart from others because of his greatness. He is, in his own way, as lonely as Grendel the monster he strives to kill.
There are, of course, some distinct differences between the saga and modern action stories. The purpose of Beowulf is not simply to tell an involving narrative; it is also designed to affirm the values of the tellers of the tale. Beowulf is noble and self-sacrificing. In the first part of the story, he agrees to kill the monster plaguing Hroogar and the Danish…… [Read More]
minimum/maximum ( equivalent) introduction, body, conclusion. This a traditional essay. 2. Note assignment include author's note beginning explain project .
The following story is a modern adaptation of the epic poem "Beowulf" and it attempts to bring the poem's actions in a contemporary setting, with characters being somewhat similar to people today and providing readers with the chance to identify with them.
Several years ago the community of a small town in Denmark had a mayor who managed to put an end to corruption in the area and who made it possible for locals to change their perspective on life -- optimism came to dominate the town. This mayor had a son named Beow and this boy rapidly came into prominence through his generosity and through being dedicated to helping anyone he interacted with. In spite of the family's success, the mayor died in his apogee and left his supporters…… [Read More]
Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxons
Part 1: Introduction
Although the epic Old English poem Beowulf has all the characteristics of myth and legend that pertain to fiction, as a historical document it is useful in teaching about the past—the values and culture of the medieval Anglo-Saxon society and how Christian culture intersected with the pagan world at a time when Christian conversion was spreading. Not only does Beowulf refer to real kings of the time, thus grounding the story in a specific historical reality, but it also describes a culture of co-existence—an old world people and place situated neatly between paganism and Christianity. As an epic poem Beowulf describes the heroic journey of the titular character as he accepts the challenge of Hrothgar to defend his Hall against the monster Grendel. Beowulf defeats the monster and then must face the wrath of Grendel’s mother. Many decades after his victory over Grendel’s…… [Read More]
Leadership, Values, And Beowulf
The epic poem of Beowulf is a narrative a famous warrior who eventually becomes a powerful king. The story involves the exploits of a Scandinavian warrior-prince who comes from the land of the Geats, located in what is now southern Sweden. The poem may be divided into two periods of the Beowulf's life. These two periods exemplify the heroic life in youth and old age.
The poem starts by acquainting the reader with the problems of Hrothgar, King of the Danes, who is being threatened by Grendel, a monster who relentlessly has come to the kingdom night after night for twelve years to carry off and devour the vassals of Herot. Beowulf hears of this situation and resolves to defeat the monster. Eventually, Beowulf defeats Grendel in hand to hand combat tearing off one of the monster's arms. The following night Grendel's mother comes to avenge…… [Read More]
Christian Elements in Beowulf
Blending Pagan and Christian Themes in Beowulf
The epic poem Beowulf was written during a time of great change. Ancient pagan societies were going through extreme religious and cultural transitions with the widespread adoption of Christianity throughout Europe at the time. This was definitely a changing way of life for many, and such drastic cultural changes are seen in the literature of the period as well. In fact, one of the earliest English poems, Beowulf, has an interesting juxtaposition of ancient pagan and Christian themes. Although the poem has obvious references to an ancient pagan way of life, it is filled with Christian references as well, illustrating the changing nature of society at the time when it was transitioning from paganism to Christianity. Clearly, the epic poem Beowulf blends emerging Christian philosophies with more ancient pagan traditions of the region.
Fate, also referenced as wyrd in…… [Read More]
He is not afraid to battle Grendel and his mother; in fact, he seems to welcome the challenge. This is important to the story because it helps back up the poet's tales of bravery and courage, and helps show that Beowulf is indeed an epic hero. A hero has to be brave in battle, and understanding off the battlefield, and Beowulf is both. He is not afraid to rise to Unferth's challenge because he is sure of himself, and this is a characteristic of a hero as well.
This challenge also helps the reader understand the characters even more. Beowulf shows not only that he is heroic, but also that he can argue and persuade with the best of them, when he takes Unferth's challenge and explains what really happened in the seas. He says, "I had greater strength at sea, withstood in the waves more woes than any man.…… [Read More]
Beowulf experiences tough circumstances and because he does the right things, he emerges a hero and can live knowing he did the best he could. Here, responsibility leads to good works and, subsequently, a good life.
In "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," we see Christian values displayed when Gawain accepts his responsibility in much the same way that Grendel does. hen examining the story of Sir Gawain, we cannot overlook the importance of chivalry, which is strongly associated with Christian ideals. Gawain maintain the knight's high ideals even when he under pressure. hen Gawain is traveling to the Green Chapel, he speaks with God, working out his own fear and uneasiness. The result of this conversation is a renewed sense of honor and a urgency to continue. Another example of how the poet intended Gawain to carry these ideals with him is in the pentangle, in which he describes…… [Read More]
Seeing that he was miserable, she told him he could either have her loyal but ugly or beautiful and unfaithful (Chaucer pp). The knight leaves the decision up to her thus, giving the old hag exactly what she wanted, to be in control of her husband. This decision resulted in the old hag becoming beautiful and loyal (Chaucer pp).
omen are central to this tale from the beginning to the end. The knight is saved by the queen, then is sent on a quest to find what appeared to be an impossible answer to a riddle concerning women, and then is saved again at the last minute by another woman who, although wise, was ugly and undesirable. However, he proved true, loyal and obedient, and granted the hag the one thing she wished, control over her man. And in doing so, he received what he truly wanted which was a…… [Read More]
Interestingly, although Raskolnikov's punishment comes before the end of the novel, only after he is banished to Siberia is he able to truly let God into his heart. This shows how earthly punishment and salvation are not always linked. The novel ends with him throwing himself upon Sofia's mercy, as she finally understands that he has accepted God into his heart and been redeemed.
Although no figure is Christ-like in the novel, Sofia acts like a figure of wisdom and a facilitator of Raskolnikov's faith. She inspires him to reject secular philosophy for God, as philosophy and his intellect cannot save him, only religion. Although Sofia has no education, she is depicted as wiser than most of the learned men in the novel. Sofia hears Raskolnikov's first confession of his crime, before the authorities. Unlike the anonymous authors of Beowulf, for Dostoevsky true heroism is sacrifice and repentance, not manifesting…… [Read More]
villains in Beowulf and the Song of Roland, I believe those in the last-mentioned work are more justified in their actions than those in Beowulf. This at least is true from the perspective of the 20th century religious paradigm. In the modern world, it is vitally important to display a tolerant attitude towards all pardigms of religion and other directions of philosophy. In Beowulf there is a direct rivalry between the villagers and the monster, Grendel. There is little doubt that Grendel is a monster and a bully, without any right to reprieve or defense. His mother is the only one prepared to defend him, and she does so to her own demise. Of course this could be understood from the perspective of the family paradigm. Nonetheless, Grendel was never justified in his slaughter of the celebrating party. His villainy is apparently inherent, and he simply enjoys terrorising people without…… [Read More]
embedded values within the eowulf and Anglo-Saxon communities through their fundamental belief systems. In particular, it seeks to uncover the underlying similarities as also the divergence apparent in the cultures by addressing the implication of embracing the Christian religion to the Anglo-Saxon successors who followed the traditional belief in Norse gods by the Germanic ethnic group and the culture of a heroic fighter that are still living under extremely risky circumstances. This paper uses the epic 'eowulf' to highlight the correspondence between the two cultures.
The writer of this poem was unenlightened, Anglo-Saxon and of the Christian faith. He used the character of eowulf to talk about the factors regarding culture and Christ, which still affect us. The writer strives to bring out the similarities between Christ and eowulf through concerted effort: From eowulf's simple "baptism," his assumed demise at a time the poet called "ninth hour," followed by his…… [Read More]
Mead hall plays an important role in ancient Anglo-Saxon warrior culture. As we see in Beowulf, the mead hall functions as a meeting place, a place of refuge, and a place for socialization. The mead hall of Heorot also served as the seat of government. Thus, the mead hall is a place of critical importance both in the story and throughout Anglo-Saxon culture. e know, for example, from the Orkneyingasaga, that the mead hall would likely only be matched by the church in a given district (Cope, 2007).
hen Beowulf arrives in Daneland, he and the warriors sleep at the mead hall, implying that the hall is more than simply a place for drinking. This is where Grendel first attacks the men, and where the conflict between Beowulf and Grendel takes place. One of the facets of the story is the transition that Beowulf makes from being an untested warrior…… [Read More]
features of residual (or "secondary") orality preserved in Voluspa, according to the criteria Ong (1982) advances?
Ong (1982) talks about how cultures in the past were only able to preserve their heritage through stories that meticulously passed down through the years (41). He says that since type was invented, importance has moved from the wise old man or woman to someone who can "discover new things" (Ong, 1982, 41). However, societies still deem some things as too important to completely lose their oral tradition. He talks about the residual orality of having to memorize certain things through mnemonic devices (Ong, 1982, 41).
However, he also talks of residual or secondary orality in another way also. He says that secondary orality is "an orality not antecedent to writing and print, as primary orality is, but consequent on and dependent upon writing and print" (Ong, 1982, 167). His analysis of the practice…… [Read More]
In works of fiction, the hero's journey will always be fraught with danger. He will not only have to overcome his own shortcomings, but will also encounter individuals who hope to impede his journey and prevent him from accomplishing his goals or individuals who will help them overcome their obstacles and succeed. Literature throughout history and literature that transcends cultures exhibit this same proclivity. Each component of the hero's journey, beginning with his quest, his initiation into the situation which will lead to his development, his separation from his origin, and finally his transformation at the end of the story is heavily dictated by the attention and communication he receives from the other male character. The stories "Young Goodman Brown," The Epic of Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and "The Legend of King Arthur" all show pairings of male characters, the protagonist and another male figure who either acts as an…… [Read More]
However, because of Gilgamesh's thought that he may be invincible, he is actually putting his friend's life at risk by going on his adventure. In his attempt to prove that he is brave and that he would rather die for a cause, he actually indirectly causes the death of Enkidu, who shows that he was the stronger of the two.
5) Defining Honor
Honor is a characteristic that few individuals posses. It is a special type of distinguishing factor, that although many attempt to have, very few actually embrace it to its full meaning. Honor entails pride and personal excellence. It is fully believing in an action or an entity that represents something very important to the self and to those around. To me, honor is being able to stand up for your beliefs despite the opinion of others.
Honor in society can actually be viewed in two ways, depending…… [Read More]
Emilia, Wife of Iago
Do not learn of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband.[footnoteRef:1] [1: Othello, Act II, Scene i.]
More than once, I think to myself how life could have been differed between that of my previous past to that which I have now. A woman whose prospects boiled down to nothing as important as marriage could not have many to begin with. But a husband whose soul blackens the very environment, whose tongue twists morality, whose plots send shivers down my little spine? No, even this I had not asked for, not one bit.
If my good mother was still alive, I would wager that her argument would play out as follows:[footnoteRef:2] [2: Theme: The hardships of mother-daughter relationships (Lucy by Jamaica Kinkaid)]
How now, Emilia, where is your sense? Was it really so bad to leave Mantua[footnoteRef:3], to head face-front to the catastrophe that is your…… [Read More]
arrior Hero: A Stranger in a Strange Land
The figure of the hero is set apart from the common herd of ordinary men by virtue of his special qualities and abilities; in some works, this separateness is literal - he is in a strange land apart from his own kin. To see how this alienation enhances the tale of the hero's conflict, The Odyssey, Beowulf and The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice will be considered.
Odysseus, Beowulf and Othello are all warrior heroes. Odysseus, in The Odyssey, has been instrumental in the victory at Troy, and now fights to return to Ithaca and bring his men safely home; more struggles await him there. Beowulf, a great fighter who has proven his mettle in many conflicts, hears about the depredations of Grendel on Heorot Hall and journeys there to rescue Hrothgar's people. His role in the conflicts against the…… [Read More]
Greek Hero Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey and the Northern Hero Beowulf in the saga BeoWulf, discussing how either can be heroes and arguing in some ways that it is more than deeds that marks a hero, but also the way in which they behave and relate to others.… [Read More]
In total contrast with these heroes lies the modern hero or better said the modern man defined by his struggle for power. The idea of an individual selling his or her soul to the devil for knowledge is an old motif in Christian folklore, one that is centered upon in Cristopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus."
Doctor Faustus, a well-respected German scholar unsatisfied with the traditional forms of knowledge decides he wants to learn to practice magic. He begins his career as a magician summoning Mephastophilis, a devil while Valdes and Cornelius instruct him in the black arts. Despite the devil's warnings about hell Faustus tells the devil to return to his master Lucifer with an offer of Faustus's soul in exchange for twenty-five years of service from Mephistopheles. As the twenty-five years have passed, Faustus begins to dread his impending death and on the final night he is overcome by…… [Read More]
However, neither is invincible. Beowulf meets a heroic demise when he fights the final dragon at the end of the epic. His death in no way diminishes the grandeur of his heroism. Another feature of the classic hero is their tendency to embark on lengthy journeys and quests to prove their merits, and Beowulf is no exception.
Similarly, Gilgamesh does not completely succeed in his quest for immortality. Gilgamesh does help kill beasts with the help of Enkidu. Enkidu also fits the archetype of the male hero: he is a powerful, seemingly super-human beast who dies before the epic is over. Yet his death does not spell his failure any more than Gilgamesh's mortality minimizes his great successes. Gilgamesh proves his heroism also by demonstrating the lessons he learned through the course of his adventures: coming to terms with mortality and finding love in his heart. Through loving Enkidu, Gilgamesh…… [Read More]
Pride in Literature
As a universally human characteristic, pride plays an important part in world literary themes. However, pride can be defined and perceived differently, and the term also has many different definitions. For example, pride can refer to a dignified type of satisfaction, as comes from taking pride in one's work. More often in literature, though, pride is depicted in a negative light and is usually featured as a tragic flaw that, if not overcome, brings about the hero's downfall. Moreover, the implications and meaning of pride in literature has changed over the course of time. Pride was portrayed as a necessary but dangerous trait of powerful leaders in the ancient epics of Greece and Mesopotamia like Gilgamesh, the Iliad, and the Odyssey. The trait of pride reached a sort of thematic culmination in the Old English work Beowulf, in which the title character's pride contributes positively to his…… [Read More]
Revenge, too, is prominent in all of these works: Beowulf must destroy the monster our of revenge for the havoc on the Kingdom; the Greeks must avenge the kidnapping of Helen and the slights against their lands; the Knight, the Miller and the ife of Bath all must seek revenge for perceived wrongs. Poems like Canterbury Tales, Beowulf, and the Iliad and Odyssey, especially as oral tradition, frame the journey of the hero through trials and tribulations to, eventually success. The saving of society, though, is often met with grave personal sacrifice, sometimes of tangible wealth, more often of loved ones, or, in the case of Beowulf, the ultimate sacrifice -- giving up one's own life in the service of society.
Yet in each of the tales there is at least one, and frankly many more, characters that have a fatal personality flaw that causes not only consternation, but increases…… [Read More]
He was a second round draft pick, but he just couldn't seem to connect with the Falcons. However, he never gave up on his dream to be a number one quarterback in the league. His fan web site notes, "You know the lyrics to the song 'I get knocked down, but I get up again - you're never gonna keep me down!'? Brett might not either, but he sure lives by those words" (Editors). In 1992, the Green Bay Packers traded a number one draft pick to take Favre, a move that many thought was totally crazy. However, in his first game, he went in for the injured first-string quarterback, and ended up leading the team to a nail-biting victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, 24-23. In that same year, he became the youngest quarterback ever to play in the Pro-Bowl (23). He took over the head quarterback position after the…… [Read More]
Like so many of us, he feels that heaven has cursed him. The element of disgrace would mean that he has fallen out of favor with God. He feels that all of his efforts are "bootless" (useless). However, the skylark has risen above this, implying that by remembering his love, he will also rise above it.
This author used the example of heaven because it is universal. We all think about our mortality and want to make sure that our lives have meaning. Without it, we are lost and rudderless. However, like the skylark, love will help us rise above the situation and finally make our way through the troubles of life that we all have.
4) the issue of Jews, Judaism and the character of Shylock are famous and among the most examined aspects of the Merchant of Venice. The raise all sorts of questions about whether or not…… [Read More]
Either as mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, mistresses, lovers or supernatural creatures, women populate the world of the Odyssey and bring thus an important source of information when it comes to finding parallels between their representations in real life as drawn from the representations they get in the Homeric epic.
Based on the same starting point as the Odyssey, another ancient author, the Roman irgil wrote the epic Aeneid. He lived in the most flourishing times of the Roman empire, in the first century BC, almost seven centuries after the Odyssey and the Iliad had probably been written. The heroes in irgil's epic are still men, but the women gain a new role: that of sounders and rulers. Analyzing the whole range of epics and poems written by ancient Greek and Latin writers, A.M. Keith points out that "classical Greek and Latin epic poetry was composed by men, consumed largely by…… [Read More]
No other hero is so frequently mentioned. He is the only person so important that triads are enlarged into tetrads to fit him in. (Ashe 45)
The account that did the most to establish Arthur as a prominent historical figure was the History of the Kings of Britain written in 1135 by Geoffrey of Monmouth, a elsh monk, and the book provides a history of the earliest kings of Britain, some 99 in all, including King Coel, known to us today from the nursery rhyme as Old King Cole. About one-fifth of the book is devoted to Arthur, and Geoffrey provides the first organized version of the story. Many of the elements that would be part of the later tradition were missing, however. Arthur's court is not at Camelot but at a place called Caerlon-on-Usk, or City of Legions. Geoffrey contributed at least three new elements to the existing histories…… [Read More]
Computer clustering involves the use of multiple computers, typically personal computers (PCs) or UNIX workstations, multiple storage devices, and redundant interconnections, to form what appears to users as a single integrated system (Cluster computing). Clustering has been available since the 1980s when it was used in Digital Equipment Corp's VMS systems. Today, virtually all leading hardware and software companies including Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett Packard and IM offer clustering technology. This paper describes why and how clustering is commonly used for parallel processing, batch processing, load balancing and high availability.
Despite some challenges such as achieving transparency, mitigating network latency and the split-brain problem, clustering has proven to be a huge success for bringing scale and availability to computing applications. Hungry for even more efficient resource use, IT departments are now turning their eye on the next evolution of clustering called grid computing.
Parallel processing is the processing of program…… [Read More]
Frankenstein tells many stories within one tale, connecting characters with interest and meaning.
An archetype uses something like the idea of a hero to tell a story. The story of the hero is one that is told in many ways. Generations have passed down the hero story because it revolves around a battle of good and evil. Beowulf is an example of an archetypal story because Beowulf possesses heroic characteristics. The basis of the story is one of good vs. evil and we examples of this through Beowulf fighting and helping those around him, the good knight archetype, the dragon-slayer archetype and defeating evil. Another story that illustrates the archetype of a hero is "The Odyssey." Odysseus is a proud and confident fighter and ruler. He is persistent, resourceful and his people love him. He is very aware of what he needs to do to win battles and he does…… [Read More]