The Main Themes In Beowulf, By Walter Morris Hart

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Written by an unknown author, the old English poem, “Beowulf” is considered by Walter Morris Hart, the oldest surviving work of English literature and it “must be regarded as the work of a poet of remarkable taste and technical skill, who flung aside, far more boldly than the poet of the Roland, the binding conventions of popular art, and succeeded in impressing far more deeply his own powerful personality upon his work.” The main theme of the poem is bravery, one of the most discussed subjects in the literature of all times, but more carefully at that time as it represented the major quality of a man. The best way to reveal heroes in literature is through fights or battles. According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language,…show more content…
Grendel is the perfect image of this idea as it is descended from Cain, the first murderer we know existed on Earth. By means of his envy, he kills his brother, Abel. As a punishment he was forever banished by the Creator for commiting the original sin. In the same manner, Grendel cannot stand the sound of joy that comes from the Heorot hall. The monster reveals the human nature with its biggest weakness, being jealous on other’s happiness. He represents the same human greed, anger and jealousy that men fear in theirselves. “Grendel, it would seem, is a monster against both Grendel’s own will and ours, pathetically misunderstood, the ultimate victim – Grendel is articulate, a thinking Outsider, and an intellectual manqué, the autobiographical narrator of a life spent in tragic exclusion from the closed, interior world of another Otherness which is as flawed in its own ways as Grendel is…show more content…
Beowulf’s life is archetypal as he is a hero whom we know he will be rewarded for his brave deeds not only by the king, but also by divinity. In this sense, for killing Grendel he is rewarded by Hrothgar with goods that when he arrives home he shares with his king and protector. After the king and his son die he become the protector of his men. An essay written about Beowulf describes it this way, “ An Anglo-Saxon hero is a person who has good leadership qualities, is able and willing to provide people with a sense of security, and is willing to go into danger despite possible harm to themselves” (“Epic of Beowulf Essay”). He shows that in order to achieve all of these, a man needs in his life order in his thoughts and actions. In spite of his deeds, Grendel is the chaos who encounters the order, who tries to destroy the order and joy from the Heorot hall. He manages to do that until Beowulf demonstrates that order

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