Theme Of Immortality In Beowulf

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Actor Bruce Lee once said, “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” This is the idea behind the Anglo-Saxon concept of Löf. Löf can be described as glory or fame after death. This fame makes a person “immortal” because their name lives on forever in the stories and minds of the people. In the epic poem Beowulf, the main character, Beowulf, desires Löf and performs many heroic tasks in its acquisition. He defeats a monster named Grendel, along with Grendel’s mother, and a treasure-guarding dragon. Beowulf’s courage, strength, and pride reveals the theme that immortality can be achieved through Löf.
Beowulf’s courage earns him the respect and admiration of the people around him, contributing to his obtainment of Löf and therefore immortality. This bravery is displayed by his agreement to fight the monsters which afflict his land: a demon named Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon. Wiglaf, one of
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The cowardness of the people around Beowulf magnify his courage. For example, Unferth was “not man enough” to fight against Grendel’s mother, so he instead “lent [his] blade” to Beowulf (Beowulf lines 1466, 1468, 1465). Unferth “lost/fame and repute” because of his cowardness; however, “it was different for [Beowulf]”, who gained fame and repute (Beowulf lines 1470, 1471, 1472). Another example is when out of the eleven “high born-comrades” in Beowulf’s “hand-picked troop”, “ten of them together” abandoned Beowulf and “ran for their lives” instead of saving their leader from the dragon (Beowulf lines 2597, 2848, 2598). Wiglaf’s statement expresses how Beowulf’s comrades marvel at his courage since they had experienced first-hand how difficult it is to

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