The epic poem of Beowulf and the tale of the great warrior has been one of the most revered texts of old Anglo-Saxon literature, and has maintained a self-sustaining relevance in today’s society as a result of the vast amounts of translations and reworks of the tale into movies, art, and literature. The epic poem dates back to the ninth century and was first translated off of an old frayed manuscript, leaving some portions of the epic to be left up to the reader of the absent text. The epic story was thought to originate from an oral background as traditional folk tale, yet this has been questioned for debate. On thing that is certain is the fact that Beowulf , is full of thematic elements of the decisions of good vs. evil , the intrinsic excitement of masculinity, and the morbid reminder of mortality, all of which have been analyzed among great scholars and writers throughout decades.
The epic poem, Beowulf, is one of the oldest European epics in existence. When Beowulf was written, the writer incorporated many of the ideals of the Anglo-Saxons. Some of these ideals included loyalty, bravery, selflessness, and justice and were demonstrated in the hero. Both the characters Beowulf and Grendel represent aspects of both good and evil, Christianity and Paganism, and what occurs when they collide with one another. A characteristic of an epic poem is the concern over struggles that humans face, which is presented in a serious manner. The hero often embodies the religious, national, and cultural values of his homeland and abroad. The premise of the story is quite simple: the Danes were in distress because of the great monster Grendel, so Beowulf, a native of the Geats, sails to engage in battle with Grendel and become victorious in saving the seemingly faithless Danes. Throughout the epic, there are many instances where examples of the thirteen epic conventions are used in the writing of Beowulf and in describing both the ideals of the Anglo-Saxons and the underlying challenges with mortal problems, such as good versus evil.
Beowulf. Holt elements of literature. Ed G Kylene Beers and Lee Odeel. 6th ed. Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2008. 21-48. Print.
The epic poem, Beowulf, a work of fiction, offers more insight into Ancient Anglo-Saxon English culture than the work of Bede, who wrote, A History of the English Church and People. The epic poem Beowulf gives an enhanced illustration and clearer understanding of the culture of the Ancient Anglo-Saxon’s. The epic poem gives the audience a picture of what the Ancient Anglo-Saxon English valued; seafaring, warriors, heroes, and paganism.
The Old English poem Beowulf is set in Scandinavia sometime in the 5th century and is about the titular hero of the Geats, who comes to assist the King of the Danes, Hrothgar, with killing the evil Grendel who has been attacking the king’s mead hall Herot. After killing Grendel, Beowulf must also kill Grendel’s mother; he eventually goes home, becomes king of the Geats and after 50 years of ruling, he is killed by a dragon and later buried in a memorial made in his name. This literary classic has all the characteristics of an epic poem including, a long narrative about a serious subject, a focus on a hero and their deeds with actions affecting large amounts of people, and the hero performing superhuman feats of strength. However there are two elements of this poem that bring it to life for the reader, which are its vivid descriptions and the grandeur of the whole story.
Beowulf, the national epic of England, was passed down from generation to generation tells the legend of a mighty hero. This folk epic portrays the ideas of 16th century Anglo-Saxon culture until the early 8th century when a monk transcribed it into written form. Housed in the British Museum, the manuscript is considered to be a historical document as well as a great piece of literature. This tale narrates a story about a man who saves two nations from terrible beings which embody evil. Beowulf contains many themes such as the fantasy of supernatural creatures and the role of woman. However, the main focus of this tale presents both Christian and Pagan ideals. While the epic shows evidence of patristic influences, it more clearly depicts ideals associated with pagan culture and society.
Beowulf The Anglo-Saxon Culture as Illustrated in Beowulf Beowulf is an epic poem, which takes place in ancient Denmark and Geatland and describes the adventures of Beowulf, a Geat hero. Through their heroes, epic poems usually describe the traditions and beliefs of a certain culture. An Anglo-Saxon author wrote Beowulf about the Danes and Geats. The Anglo-Saxon’s had similar beliefs to that of the Dane and Geat’s, so the poem gives us some idea of what the Anglo-Saxon culture was like. Throughout Beowulf, it is illustrated that women were thought to be virtually valueless; that Anglo-Saxons believed in paganism, and that there was great emphasis on valuables and weaponry.
Chivalry is Yet, Not Dead In some select stories of old/middle english, we can see that people have been fascinated by ideals of heroism, chivalry, and what we now refer to as romance for a very long time. I will argue in this document, that our fascination with such imaginary laws has never ceased, and in some ways is even more fantastic. Every further mention of romance will refer to all of these ideas, the way it did when the term was introduced into english. If all things are to be considered this short essay would turn into a book.
Beowulf Beowulf is the main character in the poem, Beowulf. He is a member of the Geat tribe, a follower of Higylac, and the son of Edgtheo. In the poem, the author attempts to reconcile the human and the heroic sides of his personality. Beowulf's deeds and actions toward others reflect his heroic personality. He is described as "…greater/And stronger than anyone anywhere in this world," although there is no information as to how he has received this reputation.
Beowulf is an epic poem telling the story of Beowulf, a legendary Geatish hero who later becomes king in the aforementioned epic poem. While the story in and of itself is quite interesting, for the purpose of this paper it is important to look at the character more so then his deeds, or rather why he did what he did.