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Fate of Freewill - Essay Example

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Summary
The significant age of the text, having been written between the 8th and 11th centuries, further contributes to its position as one of the most foundational literary texts in the English language…
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Fate of Freewill

Download file to see previous pages... The text explores a variety of themes, including fate vs. free will, as well as religious concerns related to Anglo-Saxon belief and Christian ideology. This essay examines these themes and argues that they demonstrate Beowulf is a text that embraces free will most firmly.
Fate and free both play prominent roles in Beowulf. Ostensibly, the poem embraces the notion of fate. In these regards, the poet indicates that God controls the characters’ actions. The poem states, “Fate goes ever as fate must” (31). This statement refers to the notion of fate as dictating the lives and actions of the main characters. While the epic poem ostensibly embraces fate, in other instances, it seems to adopt an epistemological outlook that indicates the characters are responsible for their actions. One considers that the poem states, “And a young prince must be prudent like that, giving freely while his father lives so that afterwards in age when fighting starts steadfast companions will stand by him and hold the line. Behavior that’s admired is the path to power among people everywhere” (20-25). This statement considers the nature of behavior in warrior society. The emphasis on behavior is a clear embracement of the notion of human free will. Ultimately, both fate and free will are exemplified in the poem.
Beowulf also explores Anglo-Saxon and Christian religious ideology. The contrasting position of religious ideology and Anglo-Saxon belief in the story seems to indicate that the text most comprehensively embraces free will. Christian ideology is a prominent part of the text, as God is viewed as overseeing the action in the story. Additionally, the importance of being humble is viewed as deriving from Christian ideology. In this way, Christian ideology is woven into the very fabric of the text. In addition to these elements, however, Anglo-Saxon elements are considered that at times are not ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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