Epic of Beowulf Essay

Epic of Beowulf Essay

Length: 1827 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


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. I would like to compare and contrast Beowulf, Lanval, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight with some of the modern day creations especially in looking at the values, and belief systems in all of the three “classic” stories. I will apologize in advance to those who will read this and are not familiar to the texts that are mentioned, due to restrictions in size I must mention all of my topics without specific description of how the stories are told, please at least read “Beowulf” before considering this essay. Beowulf has and will live in the hearts of many people today, whether they have actually read and studied the text itself or they have merely been exposed to modern movies, books, and music that idealize a classical heroic ideal.     
We might consider in this topic the modern police officer, soldier, paramedic, FBI/CIA agent, and any who take on with their livelihood the motto “to protect and to serve.” I believe we will most likely see and inherent desire for honor, and for glory. These in certain individuals seem to overpower the desire and will to help other people. A scholar by the name of George P. Fletcher states when looking at romanticism and its opposites, “On the one hand, we have stability, order, universality, and the boredom of the predictable and domestic. On the other hand, we have revolt, disorder, partiality, and the intense flames of lust and creativity. This is, of course, the way Romantics might describe the sentiments that move them” (p. 17). He even goes on to hint that the reason we have waged war on Iraq was because of romantic

ideas. We'll stay away from that debate in this essay and just say that the idea of glory and honor is summed up completely in “Beowulf” by the line ”Heaven swallowed the smoke” (L. 3155), in Lanval when he will not lie, despite the costs, despa...


... middle of paper ...


...ork:                Norton. 2000.

Alexander, Michael, trans. Beowulf. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973.

Bradley, S. A. J., trans. “Beowulf.” Anglo-Saxon Poetry: An Anthology of Old English                Poems in Prose Translation with Introduction and Headnotes by S. A. J. Bradley.           Everyman's Library. London and Melbourne: Dent, 1982.

Chaucer, Geoffrey. “The Canterbury Tales.” The Norton Anthology of English Literature:           6th edition New York: Norton. 1996

Donaldson, E. Talbot. “Beowulf: A New Prose Translation.” The Norton Anthology of                English Literature: 6th edition. New York: Norton. 1996.

Fletcher, George P. Romantics at War. Princeton: Princeton UP. 2002

Laven, David, and Lucy Riall. Napoleon's Legacy: Problems of Government in Restoration           Europe. Berg. 2000


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Why Is Beowulf An Epic Hero?

- Why is Beowulf an epic hero. An epic instance of commitment might be An instance of dedication around a mission, to superhuman qualities indicating valor, generosity, Additionally resolve. Deciphered by burton Raffel, those epic story beowulf will make a champion around the general population best known stories from guaranteeing its occasion when. In the novel beowulf the general population. Epic legend beowulf uncovers to qualities over intensity, physical quality, commitment, bravery, in addition understanding, fundamentally like legends today....   [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Novel, Superhuman]

Powerful Essays
977 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Beowulf Is An Epic Hero

- Beowulf is an Old English epic poem that centers on a hero named Beowulf who defeats monsters with the inhuman strength given to him by God. Lines 371- 455 are about Beowulf presenting himself to Hrothgar in order to slay Grendel. These lines focus on the characteristics of the epic poem, show that Beowulf is an epic hero and empathizes the difference between Beowulf and Grendel and how God relates to them. In an epic there are six important characteristics: it has to have a hero, involve a demonstration of superhuman abilities, have a large setting, include supernatural beings that guide or hinder the hero, have an elevated style of writing, and is told by an omniscient narrator....   [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Supernatural, Hroðgar]

Powerful Essays
781 words (2.2 pages)

Beowulf : The Epic Hero Essay example

- Beowulf In the Anglo-Saxon epic poem of Beowulf, Beowulf is highly regarded as an epic hero; the poem itself is consisted of songs of glorification about him. During his era, Beowulf was very famous amongst his own people and others due to the fact that he has achieved great things. He has travelled and gone through many adventures which has greatly boosted his fame across the land. His character and personality, along with his great strength, has made him into an epic hero. Beowulf was a character that was given or blessed by the gods to the people during his time to be a saviour against evil and to become a just ruler....   [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Hero, Grendel]

Powerful Essays
1323 words (3.8 pages)

Is Beowulf An Epic Poem? Essay

- Is Beowulf an epic poem. This should not even be a question because it is so obvious that Beowulf is an epic poem. All of the characteristics of an epic poem is in Beowulf. In an epic poem the hero should be from a noble birth and of great and historical importance, also the hero traits reflect qualities important to the society that he is from and performs courageous deeds, even superhuman that reflects the values of the era. All of this is in Beowulf epic poem and there is much more that prove that Beowulf is an epic poem....   [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Greek loanwords, Homer]

Powerful Essays
1348 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Beowulf : The Epic Hero

- The epic poem, Beowulf, was written in the Anglo-Saxon period and entails a story of an epic hero who is depicted as a hero of great strength, power, and other abilities people don’t normally posses; however, in the finality of epic poems, the epic hero will fall tragically. Knowing this, it proves and reminds the readers that an epic hero is still human. Beowulf is structured into three parts: the battle with Grendel, Grendel’s Mother, and the dragon. Each section is surrounded around Beowulf and his actions, and they all show the epic hero’s moral choices....   [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Greek loanwords, Fiction]

Powerful Essays
1008 words (2.9 pages)

Essay Beowulf as an epic

- Beowulf Beowulf is the single greatest story of Old English literature and one of the greatest epics of all time. Ironically, no one can lay claim to being the author of this amazing example of literature. The creator of this poem was said to be alive around 600 A.D. and the story was, since then, been passed down orally from generation to generation. When the first English monks heard the story, they took it upon themselves to write it down and add a bit of their own thoughts. Thus, a great epic and the beginning to English literature was born....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Free Essays
683 words (2 pages)

Beowulf is an Epic Hero Essay

- A true hero does not fear death or, but instead risks all that he is for what he believes to be right, moral, and just. Beowulf is an epic and tells the story of a legendary hero, conquering all obstacles as if he was immortal. Up until the end of Beowulf’s life he was constantly looking to be the hero. However, his humanity is exposed by his death. Heroes all share the characteristic of their willingness to die in their effort to accomplish their heroic act, thus making the act in itself heroic....   [tags: The Epic of Beowulf]

Powerful Essays
951 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Beowulf as an Epic Hero

- What are the qualities of an epic hero. An Epic hero is a hero on a quest, with superhuman powers displaying courage, generosity, and loyalty. Translated by Burton Raffel, the epic story Beowulf is one of the best and well known epics of its time. In the novel Beowulf the epic hero Beowulf shows characteristics of courage, physical strength, loyalty, self-confidence, and wisdom, much like heroes today. In the epic Beowulf, the title character, shows his physical strength and courage in several ways....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Free Essays
588 words (1.7 pages)

Beowulf is an Epic Hero Essay examples

- Every epic hero possesses certain heroic characteristics. The epic poem Beowulf describes the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. Beowulf is the hero. He shows that he is a great man by always putting other things before his own needs. He is important and needed by his people and is known by many as a strong, courageous and a helpful person. He shows all of the qualities and traits that a true hero possesses. Beowulf, like other epic heroes, possesses the following heroic qualities: epic heroes are superhuman types of beings....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Powerful Essays
459 words (1.3 pages)

Essay about Beowulf - An Epic Hero

- Beowulf An Epic Hero Beowulf: An Epic Hero Being a hero can be defined many different ways. Several qualities like courage, respect, and strength can define heroism. A hero is noted for his or her actions for being brave, powerful, and acting with honor. In the epic poem, Beowulf, the main character Beowulf shows all of these characteristics by defending the Danish king, Hrothgar, and his people. He is a true hero by honoring his country and exerting his power and strength to protect others....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Powerful Essays
695 words (2 pages)