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Beowulf - Essay Example

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Religion and fate in Beowulf Professor number Religion and fate in Beowulf Beowulf has attracted many a question regarding the religious beliefs that are espoused by the characters of the work. It is one of the oldest works of fiction that has survived the ravages of time and since going into the form of a text, many of its original verses are supposed to have undergone major transformations…
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Download file to see previous pages The importance of the pagan worldviews that informed the course of events in the Middle Ages cannot be ignored during an analysis of the events that happen in Beowulf. Fate may at times intervene with the events that are shown to happen in the work; however, many of the events are brought about by the actions and perseverance of the protagonist, Beowulf. This indicates that there is more to the actions of a person than just the influence of fate. In this discussion, it is also necessary to dissociate oneself from the ideas of fate that are used for discussions of free will and determinism in contexts that are dissimilar from those of the Middle Ages. The idea of determinism extended to the notions of loyalty in the frames of references that Beowulf talks of. As a result of this, one’s actions were almost always dependent on the needs of the lord of a particular person or a warrior. It is seen from the actions of Beowulf that his notions of loyalty towards Hrothgar impel him towards fighting with many monsters and this sense of loyalty is what one may refer to as his fate. This sense of fate comes from being a part of a line of heroes. The urge to keep up one’s pride that stems from one’s family is thus, a great factor in ensuring that one goes ahead and displays a certain kind of valor that is worthy of one’s family’s reputation on the world. Religion here is of lesser importance and only serves to bind the different rules that are a part of the social fabric that ensures the maintenance of whatever system of governance existed in the first place. The system that ensures this kind of a lack of change also depends on the subservience of its followers. This subservience is ensured by a complex network of which religion is a great part. This can be seen from the fact that the narrative of the epic is structured by three points where there are funerals which are obviously religious ceremonies. In such points in the narrative, religion makes an entry and ensures a smooth transition that is made according to the rules that are set down by the ruling class of the society. Beowulf’s end is also occasioned by the sense of duty that he has towards his people. The dragon that is to be slain has to be killed in order to ensure the well-being of the people of Beowulf’s kingdom. The duty of a king was also a great part of the religion that existed during the Middle Ages. The duty of a king and the duty of a warrior were intrinsically connected as the physical well-being of the people of a kingdom was one of the greatest responsibilities of a king. We find Hrothgar talking extensively upon the duties of a king. From this, one may deduce that what is important in the fate of a person is what the society decides for him, even though that person may be the king himself. Religion impels a king to fulfil his responsibilities towards his king and the arm of a king may only, in the poem, be a reference to warriors who are expected to be of the utmost service to him. Loyalty to the king is what constitutes the ‘wyrd’ of Beowulf to begin with and loyalty to his people later on in the narrative. This is what ultimately causes his death. The strong hold that religion had on the people of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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...?Outline Thesis: In examining the text and symbolism within the epic poem Beowulf, it is clear that the changes from paganism towards Christianity are represented within the text. I. Introduction II. Overview A. Establishing the historic time frame B. Pagan and Christian tones in the work C. Disagreement on pagan and Christian symbols III. Summary of Story A. Grendal B. The dragon C. The meaning of the two stories combined IV. Paganism in Beowulf A. Dispute of paganism in Beowulf B. The acceptance of paganism towards converting to Christianity. C. Beowulf’s divine righteousness V. Christianity in Beowulf A. Christian authorship B. Genesis in...
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...Analysis of the Epic Poem: Beowulf The epic poem Beowulf captures a sense of the oral tradition and the stories that were important to this early period. The poem is considered an epic poem because it traces the developmental character growth of its main character as he struggles with archetypal monsters reflecting the values of his society. The story is also told in a specific way that suggests it was part of an older oral tradition. The poem compares strongly with other epic poems such as the Iliad, Medea, Agamemnon, Virgil, Dante and Augustine. What all these epics have in common is a specific technical structure that helps with the memory recall of the poem, a specific series of events that traces...
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...Beowulf Beowulf is a very physically and emotionally strong person and this strength is seen from his youth up to his older years as a king. Physically, he was able to defeat Grendel the monster who had terrorized King Hrooger and his people and who even killed one of Beowulf’s men. This he did without any weapon whatsoever and he showed no fear when confronting the monster (Haley, 13). His emotional strength is also eminent when he lacks fear even after it seemed that Grendel’s mother was going to defeat him in their fierce fight in the lake. His emotions do not waver and this enables him to find the magic sword and kill her with it. When discussing Beowulf’s leadership...
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... Beowulf Politically, the movie Beowulf happened when there were several battles; the first battle was the Grendel where king Hrothgar who constructed hall Heorot for his people, Hrothgar was attacked by a monster named Grendel due to his merry making behaviour; however, the monster did not touch Hroogar. When Beowulf heard about the incident, he sets on a mission to help Hroogar where he manages to detach the arm of Grendel from the body; Grendel then retreats to his home where he dies slowly. Grendel’s mother tries to avenge the killing of his son but he is defeated by Beowulf, after this battle, Beowulf is made a king over his own people. Half a century after the battle with Grandel’s mother Beowulf is faced with another battle... , which...
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...In what ways do the monstrous villains of Beowulf comment on or reflect the darker elements of human nature? Beowulf is considered to be a story that demonstrates an ancient worldview and implements the archetypal Anglo-Saxon hero. That is why we may understand and depict in our minds the image of valiant that protect his land and rectitude. Still, this epic literary treasure may bear deeper sense and produce more complex interpretation. Concerning the details we are able to notice the fact that magic creatures in Beowulf fully reflect the darker elements of human nature. The number of discussions is concentrated upon this question, and monster’s appropriate role in this tale with all...
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...Beowulf and Pride The Epic Poem as a Cautionary Tale Against Pride At the height of Beowulf’s triumph Hrothgar said the words that would also proclaim Beowulf’s own fall like a prophet who could see the future unfold. That fall would be the result of pride. With Grendel and his mother killed by the hero, Beowulf rightly deserved praise and respect. Hrothgar gave him all that and more. Hrothgar gave him many honors and gifts. He poured praise and riches unto Beowulf. At the same time Hrothgar knew that in spite of Beowulf’s youth and enormous power, he was mortal and human. He was thus prone too to the spiritual and psychological...
5 Pages(1250 words)Research Paper
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