Free Essays - Examing the Conclusion of Beowulf


Length: 702 words (2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document



Examing the Conclusion of Beowulf

 

 

Endings in books are the culmination of many important events. Sometimes they are joyous and pleasant, where the conflict of the novel is resolved and everyone lives happily ever after. And other times, endings can be sad, lamentable, and downright evil. Beowulf's ending shows a sharp contrast between both types of endings. His character, along with the tragic events in the book, allowed for this ambiguous ending. But, in my opinion and when thought about closely, Beowulf, ends in an extremely terrible fashion.

 

Beowulf, Ecgtheow's son, is strong in mind and body. He is born a true hero.. He backs up his extraordinary feats with a powerful sense of social responsibility and morality. He is also engaging and humane. These good qualities often blind readers to his other traits. He, in my opinion, is a selfish, power hungry, and attention grabbing fool. He never asks for help even when he needs it, he prefers recognition rather than doing the right thing, and he puts others at danger to prove himself worthy. As a young man, he is a bit wild and reckless, who swims for seven days in the open sea to satisfy a foolish wager. Beowulf later admits that it was his false pride that made him accept the bet. When Hrothgar asks Beowulf to fight Grendel, he does not hesitate. His only request is that if he is killed, his armor should be returned to Hygelac, for he is loyal to the King of Geatland. Once Grendel has been wounded and chased away, Beowulf agrees to fight Grendel's mother, who wants vengeance for her son's death. When he succeeds in killing her, he severs her head and the head of the dead Grendel to show as a symbol of his success and bravery. At a young age, Beowulf was strong. He was physically and mentally able to fight Grendel and Grendel's mother. He triumphed over them and won great fame. But this all went straight to his head. 50 years later, as an old and weak man, he puts himself at risk once again to fight the dragon. His mental and physical stamina are nowhere near his old self, but being stubborn, he fights the dragon anyway.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Essays - Examing the Conclusion of Beowulf." 123HelpMe.com. 29 Apr 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=14689>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Beowulf's Heroism - Virtue or Flaw? Essay - Beowulf's fight with the dragon is a puzzle. On the surface, it appears to be the hero's final victory, and a fitting end to his noble life. Yet, the circumstances surrounding the battle – Beowulf's disregard for his thanes' advice and the Geats' bleak future without their king – raise pointed questions about Beowulf and his motivations. No where else in the poem are the hero's actions portrayed as anything but right and good.ǂ Not surprisingly, this issue has drawn considerable critical attention....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
1771 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Free Essays - Seamus Heaney's Beowulf - Seamus Heaney's Beowulf Having a good and noble king is vital to the succession and happiness of a group of people. Unfortunately, not all kings are good kings, but the welfare of their people reflects on their ability to do the job. Having a foreign or pariah king will cause the people's welfare to suffer, but when a group of people has an excellent king, they will remain joyful and prosperous until the day he dies. If the reign of a king causes feud, then this would not have a positive effect on the group of people under his reign....   [tags: Epic Beowulf essays] 743 words
(2.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Free Beowulf Essays: The Qualities of a King - Beowulf: The Qualities of a King The story of Beowulf is one of courage, nobility, and heroism. Beowulf possesses each of these attributes both as a young prince and an elder king. These qualities allow him to become an honored king, yet they also lead to his death. His actions are to be viewed as a precedent for young princes and future kings. Clearly every young prince inspires to earn enough respect to become king in their latter years. Beowulf first earns this respect when he sails to Herot to kill Grendel, the monster that has been keeping the soldiers out of their home....   [tags: Epic Beowulf essays] 640 words
(1.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Good vs Evil in Beowulf Essay - The Repercussions of Bravery in the Epic Poem Beowulf Throughout this paper I plan to examine the positive and negative repercussions of bravery in the epic poem “Beowulf.” I shall demonstrate how the consequences of bravery were beneficial in this epic. I shall also demonstrate how bravery did not always lead to a propitious outcome. The person who demonstrated the most bravery throughout this epic was obviously the main character, Beowulf. Throughout the span of his lifetime he became well renown for his bravery, but due to his bravery his life is lost in battle....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays] 546 words
(1.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Jungian Reading of Beowulf Essay - A Jungian Reading of Beowulf     This essay will propose an alternative means by which to examine the distinctive fusion of historical, mythological, and poetic elements that make up the whole of Beowulf.  Jeffrey Helterman, in a 1968 essay, “Beowulf: The Archetype Enters History,” first recognized Grendel as a representation of the Shadow archetype and identified Grendel’s mother as an archetypal Anima image; I wish to extend the scope of the reading by suggesting that the dragon, too, represents an archetype: the archetype of the Self.  John Miles Foley, in his landmark 1977 essay “Beowulf and the Psychohistory of Anglo-Saxon Culture,” first suggested that the progression of battles betw...   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essay]
:: 6 Works Cited
1635 words
(4.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Beowulf (Christianity vs. Paganism) Essay - Christianity vs. Paganism In the story of Beowulf, there is a noticeable struggle between Christianity and Paganism, and the characters personal battle between the two. Throughout the story the characters display actions that lead towards Paganism and Christianity. Contrary to Pagan belief Beowulf is seen as the epitome of good and beneficent to all of mankind. In Beowulf, the people showed their faith and love in God, however due to horrific events, paranoia caused them to look for a quick fix and turns them to Paganism....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays] 672 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about Anglo-Saxon History and Beowulf - Anglo-Saxon History and Beowulf By definition the word “hero” might be interpreted in one of four ways. First off in mythology and legend, a hero is often of divine ancestry. He is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods. Secondly, a hero is a person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life. Thirdly, a hero can also be described as a person noted for special achievement in a particular field....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1592 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful 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 - Type of Work: Heroic epic poem Setting "Land of the Geats," southern Sweden and Denmark; c. sixth century Principal Characters Beowulf, a Geat hero Hrothgar, King of the Danes Unferth, a Danish warrior Wiglaf, Beowulf's nephew and loyal court noble Story Overview Long ago in Hrothgar's Danish kingdom lived a gruesome monster-giant named Grendel, who nightly roamed the countryside. Rising from his marshy home, he would stalk to the King's high hall, and there devour fifteen of Hrothgar's sleeping warriors....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays] 1590 words
(4.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Beowulf Essay - Beowulf Beowulf was written during the Anglo-Saxon time period. Beowulf is a story about a young warrior and his quest through life. Some people consider Beowulf a tragic hero, and some people just consider him a hero period. Whether Beowulf is a tragic hero or not, he fights many great battles. The reason Beowulf fights stays basically the same but it changes a little. In the beginning of the book, Beowulf goes to help the Danes out by killing Grendel. Grendel is a ferocious monster that has been killing the Danes in the mead hall (115)....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays] 828 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




He wants glory for himself alone, and even though he knew that he was most likely going to die, he continued to fight the dragon as long as he knew he had a slight chance of winning. Beowulf requested to have a great pyre built with the treasure sitting atop a cliff, so when sailors came by, they would see Beowulf's grave. I don't think he could be more obvious in his longing for fame and recognition.

 

Another reason why Beowulf ends on a bad note, is the fact that he has left his city alone, leaving a chance for invasion and attack. In the final episode, the encounter with the dragon, the poet reflects further on how the responsibilities of a king, who must act for the good of the people and not just for his own glory, differ from those of the heroic warrior. Beowulf's moral status becomes somewhat confusing at the poem's end. Though he is deservedly celebrated as a great hero and leader, his last courageous fight is also somewhat rash. The poem suggests that, by sacrificing himself, Beowulf unnecessarily leaves his people without a king, exposing them to danger from other tribes. Putting aside all of his character flaws, Beowulf was a strong and wise leader. His people will miss that leadership and rivalry for the throne will probably cause many problems in the future. "A Geat woman too sang out in grief...her nation invaded, enemies on the rampage, bodies in piles, slavery and abasement. Heaven swallowed the smoke." (211) Beowulf made the mistake of getting himself killed before a sufficient king was ever chosen to reign afterwards. This lack of judgement reveals Beowulf's selfishness once again. Just as the story concludes, the last part shows his real character. "They said that of all the kings upon the earth he was the man most gracious and fair-minded, kindest to his people and keenest to win fame." (213)

 

 


Return to 123HelpMe.com