Preview
Preview

Essay about Fate in Beowulf

No Works Cited
Length: 1477 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Fate in Beowulf


A Twist of Fate for the Great Hero Beowulf Fate seems to be an ongoing theme in the works of Boethius and Beowulf. Whether it is a belief of Christian providence or pagan fatalism, the writers of these works are strongly moved by the concept of fate and how it affects the twists and turns of a person’s life. Fate is most often seen as the course of events in a person’s life that leads them to inevitable death at some time or another.
Throughout the poem Beowulf, the characters are haunted by fate and acknowledge its strong presence in everything that they do. Fate seems to lurk in the shadows of these characters very being and it is this force in which they acknowledge their mortality as human beings. Boethius wrote The Consolation of Philosophy, which may be very helpful in interpreting the meaning of fate in the epic poem Beowulf. Boethius creates fate as a female character that attempts to heal the mind of a troubled man. Richard Green translates some of Boethius’s work in the introduction and interprets this woman’s role as, “She represented fate as a random, uncontrollable force, to be feared or courted, opposed or despised” (xvi). Green goes on to identify fate’s role in the cause of events in life. This connection may be made to further understand the role of fate in Beowulf’s life. Green says, “For the wise man, fortune is a specious identification of fate; the course of events which affect his life may seem random and capricious, and most of them are indeed beyond his control” (xvii). Green is trying to unfold the meaning of fate and Boethius’s intent to illustrate its effects on a man’s life. Boethius himself says that, “Fate moves the heavens and the stars, governs the elements in their mixture, and transforms them by mutual change, it renews all things that are born and die by the reproduction of similar offspring and seeds. This same power binds the actions and fortunes of men in an unbreakable chain of causes and, since these causes have their own origins in an unchangeable providence, they too must necessarily be unchangeable” (Boethius, Book four, poem five, prose six).

Boethius is attempting to identify fate as a force of nature that represents the circle of life and the set sequence of events that are plotted by this unknown force that map out a person’s very existence throughout the course of time. Boethius ackno...


... middle of paper ...


...pics. Beowulf is a hero and personalized many important aspects and ideals of this time. He was loyal, selfless, and believed in justice. There are many Germanic elements in the poem that are connected to the ongoing theme of fate. Beowulf lived as a warrior-king figure in feudal society. He lived the Germanic Heroic Code that valued loyalty, strength, and courage. Beowulf also conducted himself with many Anglo-Saxon ideals of conduct that included allegiance to the lord and king, the love of glory that rules the meaning and existence of life, and the belief in the inevitability of fate.

Fatalism was a popular mindset of people of this time. Fatalism is the philosophy that all events, actions, or incidents that make up a person’s life are determined by fate. It incorporates the belief that people have little or no control over their destiny because what happens is what is meant to be. In a time when future was uncertain and the lives of people could be taken at any time, fate is an idea that not only kept many people going but that also entangled the minds of people that were once free and took over their every breath and movement as to signal something coming in the future.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Pagan and Christian Concepts of Fate in Beowulf Essay - The author of Beowulf incorporated the pagan and Christian concepts of fate to promote a system of monarchy where power is passed on through heirs as opposed to the system where the greatest, strongest warrior claims the throne. By attributing accomplishments to fate and declaring them to be acts of God, the author makes the pursuit of glory less attractive. This new interpretation of fate shows how the gathering of fame and glory can lead to more violence, which in turn makes glory less desired....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays] 882 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Fate of a Hero in Beowulf Essay - The Fate of a Hero “For a brief while your strength is in bloom/ but it fades quickly; and soon there will follow/ illness or the sword to lay you low… and death will arrive, dear warrior, to sweep you away”(1761-8). Hrothgar bestows his wisdom onto Beowulf after Beowulf has defeated Grendel and his mother. Hrothgar reminds him not to let pride overcome him for everything is eventually defeated due to the power of fate. This exemplifies a theme woven throughout the story of Beowulf. Beowulf is presented as a valiant hero, slaying beasts with his mighty strength and demonstrating the importance of the balance between wisdom and strength, but as the story unfolds Beowulf slowly loses his vita...   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays] 1907 words
(5.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Fate in Antigone, Beowulf, and the World Essay - The concept of fate in the lives of men and woman is something that has been around for as long as history has been recorded. However it feels like fate works better as a tool for writers through the ages, than as a way to know the true path of people’s lives. Religion is something that has been interwoven with fate, however the concept can be too easily manipulated in the world for it to tell the story of an entire life. In the end, the only thing that all men and women are fated to do is die, and even that is not determined until the day that it happens....   [tags: religion, death, fame] 1003 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Fate, Destiny, and Predestination in Beowulf Essay - Fate, Destiny, and Predestination in Beowulf An epic story is one that combines elements of supernatural powers and heroic deeds with plebeian troubles. In Beowulf , the unknown author paints a typical yet magnificent tale that is one of the great epic chronicles of the Middle Ages. Like the poems of Homer, Beowulf possesses terrible monsters, men with supernatural powers, the search for glory, and deadly defeats. However, this medieval account brings a new element into the folds: the association between established religious forces and personal choices....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essay]
:: 1 Works Cited
2128 words
(6.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Fate in Beowulf, Grendel, and Macbeth - Fate in Beowulf, Grendel, and Macbeth         Fate plays a significant role in the Old English epic poem Beowulf and William Shakespeare's play Macbeth.. The major events of the poem, such as the three killings by Beowulf and his own death, are said to have been predestined. In Macbeth, fate is so significant that it is personified by the Weird Sisters, who drive the action of the play. But if predestination exists, then there must be an agent that determines destiny. In Beowulf, God plays this role, and fate is generally accepted as God's will....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
2183 words
(6.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
An Analysis of the Epic Poem, Beowulf - Fame, Kingship, Fate and God in Beowulf - Fame, Kingship, Fate and God in Beowulf The Anglo-Saxons were a people who lived in and ruled England from the fifth century AD until the Norman Conquest. They were a people who valued courage and leadership. They lived under kings who were "keepers of gold" and were guarded by their loyal thanes (knights). They were a Pagan culture until the Normandy conquistadors came. They believed in fate and believed the only way to live forever was if you had fame. In the Anglo-Saxon book, Beowulf, there was a combination of many different people....   [tags: Epic Beowulf essays] 1217 words
(3.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Clash of Paganism Versus Christianity in Beowulf Essay - Beowulf is the first great English literature. Beowulf was written around A.D. 700 by an anonymous Christian monk. One of the essential concerns of this epic poem is whether or not it is of pagan or Christian origin, or whether it has pagan or Christian influences. The unknown author was undoubtedly a Christian, but also knows just as much about paganism. Paganism and Christianity clash and merge in this poem. Furthermore Beowulf viewed as explicitly Christian or pagan literature, the text represents some of both religions throughout this poem....   [tags: biblical, vengeance, fate] 889 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Beowulf Essay - He killed three monsters and then he died. Not a very interesting fate, but it is none the less one that I find myself having to write about regardless of whether or not I want to. Thus it was, the mighty Beowulf of old England that went forth to slay the evils which plagued the lands of his own people as well as those of his neighboring tribes. The second battle was one that was brought about by Beowulf’s willingness to go and help an old friend, and thus he nearly lost his life once more....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays] 1147 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Beowulf Essay - The epic poem, Beowulf, depicts the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. The hero, Beowulf, was an outstanding warrior with all the extraordinary values required by a hero. He was able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself. He encountered terrifying monsters and the most ferocious of beasts, but he never feared the threat of death. His leadership skills were excellent and he was able to boast about all his achievements. Beowulf was the ultimate epic hero who risked his life countless times for immortal glory and for the good of others....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays] 995 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Beowulf Essay - The oldest English epic, Beowulf, although composed twelve centuries ago, uses many of the same ideals and values that exist in modern life and modern literature. These attributes are still important, but they do not occupy every aspect of life as in Anglo- Saxon England. Some of the ideals have little use today, such as fate, while other virtues, such as loyalty, are encouraged and highly respected traits. Other values, like fame, have taken on bad connotations in modern day and are not esteemed as they once were....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays] 545 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]