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Beowulf: Good versus Evil, Fate, and the Warrior Identity - Essay Example

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In the paper “Beowulf: Good versus Evil, Fate, and the Warrior Identity” the author examines the oldest surviving major writing in English – Beowulf. It is an epic Old English (Anglo-Saxon) poem that depicts the warrior, conflict-ridden culture of Europe’s early medieval society…
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Beowulf: Good versus Evil, Fate, and the Warrior Identity
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"Beowulf: Good versus Evil, Fate, and the Warrior Identity"

Download file to see previous pages Setting is important to the poem because it portrays the warrior culture and history of the Anglo-Saxons. Beowulf lived at the time where different tribes, including the Geats, the Swedes, and the Danes, constantly fought one another (Staver 3). Kings were able to maintain their power through using their treasures to reward warriors, who served them (Staver 3). Historians believed that Beowulf went to King Hrothgar, ruler of the Danes, so that he could balance powers in favor of his people. During this time, the Geats could be fighting Swedes at the north, aside from other factions all over Scandinavia, and so Beowulf could have aimed to gain a newfound ally in King Hrothgar through pledging allegiance to him (Staver 3). The setting of Beowulf is not only the environment of the story, but it also provides the macro forces that shape its characters’ motivations and actions. Characters and important events are connected to the themes of Beowulf, the first of which is good versus evil. The first significant event of the poem is the arrival of Beowulf at the land of the Danes, exactly when King Hrothgar needs someone to defend his kingdom from a man-eating demon, Grendel. The event is important because it gives Beowulf the opportunity to return favors because the King once helped the former’s father. Beowulf becomes the warrior of Good against Grendel, the Evil one. In the epic, Beowulf fights the “captain of evil”, despite knowing the possibility of death. Beowulf is the typical warrior who finds honor in dying in war.  Grendel, on the contrary, is Evil because he comes from “Cain’s clan,” where the epic says “Cain got no good from committing that murder/ because the Almighty made him anathema/ and out of the curse of his exile there sprang/ ogres and elves and evil phantoms/ and the giants too...” (Heaney 106-113). This description implicates the Christian background of the poem’s author, where the author indicates that Good and Evil have clear-cut boundaries. Apart from using Beowulf as a symbol of Good, the poem speaks of goodness in terms of Christian didacticism, where the author indicates Christian religious beliefs. The epic highlights that the greatest Good comes from the greatest God: “Like a man outlawed/ for wickedness, he must await/ the mighty judgement of God in majesty (Heaney 976-978). The epic teaches the value that God ultimately holds humanity’s fate. Thus, Beowulf depicts the universal theme of Good versus Evil in the context of early Christianity’s beliefs and experiences.
The second theme of the poem is fate, where God controls everything that happens, including people’s destinies. One of the fates of the different tribes in the poem is their endless battles because of their divided loyalties. Beowulf knows and works toward the correction of misdeeds in the past: “I have wrested the hilt/ from the enemies' hand, avenged the evil/ done to the Danes; it is what was due” (Heaney 1668-1670). His statement demonstrates courage, but more than that, it implicates ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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The author emphasizes the theme of establishing identity of Beowulf. In this paper, the character of Beowulf as a king is critiqued. The critique is done to ensure that judgments made on whether or not Beowulf was a good king are not based on subjective discretion but on evidence based analysis of the character of King Beowulf.
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
He was popular in his kingdom. However, several encounters and adventures of Beowulf made him become a great, unique and strong warrior. In the first encounter, the king of Denmark named Hrothgar who was one of the descendants of a great and successful ruler called Scyld Sheafson built a unique hall by the name of Heorot in order to highlight his generosity and the level of his prosperity.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
As a result of this, many of the verses that clearly indicated its pagan belongings have been changed to ones that point to a Christian frame of reference. The origins of Beowulf remain undoubtedly pagan, however, and the different notions that are held by the characters of the work are influenced and decided by the pagan beliefs of the Norse and the Germanic tribes of the Middle Ages.
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The author says that the wisdom of the Bible helps us discern the good deeds from the bad deeds. One’s religion helps one determine what is good and what is evil.  Religion is the foundation that one needs to be guided in knowing what is virtuous and what is sinful. An example of this is the Catholic Church’s Ten Commandments.

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Beowulf is a world-renowned epic consisting of 3182 alliterative lines and is thought to have been written between the 8th and 11th century. This paper tells us about the plot and Tolkiens opinion about the theme of Beowulf.
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At this time, the king is being troubled by a demon named Grendel, who attacks his mead-hall ad kills his warriors. The arrival of Beowulf is welcomed since the king has become old and is not in a position to protect his people. He tells the
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