Beowulf and Epic Poetry: Does it make the cut? Originally an oral poem composed around the eighth century in the Anglo-Saxon culture, but later written in Old English, the story of the heroic Beowulf has been analyzed and debated by people all over the world. Beowulf, the original work as well as Seamus Heaney’s translation, is considered by most scholars to be one of the greatest epic poems to have ever been recorded. Due to the many characteristics and specific guidelines that help to define an
Heroism as the Main Theme of Beowulf The main theme of Beowulf is heroism. This involves far more than physical courage. It also means that the warrior must fulfil his obligations to the group of which he is a key member. There is a clear-cut network of social duties depicted in the poem. The king has an obligation to behave with generosity. He must reward his thanes with valuable gifts for their defense of the tribe and their success in battle. This is why King Hrothgar is known as the
Fate is one of the central themes in the three Germanic Epics: The Nibelungenlied, Njal’s Saga, and Beowulf. In all the stories, the characters believe everything that occurs is predetermined. Hagen believes that he is fated to die in The Nibelungenlied; Njal sees the future through his dream in Njal’s Saga; Beowulf defeats Grendel’s Mother because fate has decided that he should win in Beowulf. Evidently, almost all of the characters in Germanic epics have a fatalist view towards life. In contrast
The Lore of Old Reincarnated as a Number One Bestseller What is the first thing many people think of when they hear the word “dragon?” Most Americans and Europeans probably envision a huge scaly green beast, one that sits on a hoard of golden treasures and breathes fire. Asians are more likely to think of a benevolent snakelike creature, one that controls rains and rivers. And some people will think of the dragons in movies, or in books, which come in innumerable shapes, sizes, and dispositions.