Familial and Marital Relationships in Beowulf
Two Works Cited To the reader of Old English Beowulf the familial and marital relationships are not so very obvious, especially when one is concentrating all of one’s mental energies on translating the thousand-year-old vocabulary of the poem. The following essay is intended to clarify those relationships while proceeding sequentially through the poem.
First of all, Scyld Scefing, historic king of the Danes (Scyldings), had a son Beow(ulf) to occupy the throne: “Then in the strongholds [Beow] the Scylding was king of all Denmark, beloved by his people” (53-55). Then [Beow] “had a son in his turn, Healfdene the great, who, while he lived, aged, war-fierce, ruled lordly Scyldings” (56-58). Healfdene’s progeny were numerous: “From Healfdene are numbered four children in all; from the leader of armies they woke to the world, Heorogar, Hrothgar, and Halga the good; it is told that [Yrse was Onela's] queen”(59-62). Heorogar fathered Heoroweard; Halga fathered Hrothulf who lived with Hrothgar (“the mighty minded ones, Hrothgar and Hrothulf” (1016-17). Implied in this and in the following lines is the hint that Hrothulf will slay Hrothgar’s oldest son, Hrethic, and take the throne: “Wealhtheow came forth, glistening in gold, to greet the good pair, uncle and nephew[Hrothulf]; their peace was still firm, each true to the other” (1162-5) (Chickering 280). Hrothgar’s other two children were Hrothmund and Freawaru (“I heard the men give her the name Freawaru when she passed to those heroes the gem-studded cup” (2022-23).
The hero Beowulf, upon arriving in Denmark with his band of Geats, states his geneology: “My own father was well known abroa...
... middle of paper ...
... grown up in King Hrethel’s household along with the king’s own sons: “In no way was I, a man of his stronghold, more hateful to him than his own sons, Herebeald, Haethcyn, or Hygelac my lord” (2432-34). Haethcyn accidentally killed “his brother [Herebeald]… with an arrow from his bow” (2437-38), causing the father’s death through grief.
Perhaps this essay will elucidate some vague familial and marital realtionships for the new student of Beowulf, who is grappling with somany trranslation problems from the Old English that he may find it difficult to discern all the intricate relationships.
Chickering, Howell D.. Beowulf A dual-Language Edition. New York: Anchor Books, 1977.
Wilbur, Richard. “Beowulf.” In TheBeowulf Poet, edited by Donald K. Fry. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- As young children grow up, their attitudes dramatically transform. They translate from loving their parents to disliking them. When their lifestyle is adversely affected, this universal process accelerates. Ray Bradbury, an acclaimed writer and a known opponent of Silicone Valley, comments on this recurring motif, technology. According to Ray Bradbury’s official website, he has won the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation (HarperCollinsPublishers).... [tags: ray bradbury, technology, african valdt]
1089 words (3.1 pages)
- For a 13 year old, life couldn’t have been more horrendous then that of my years in middle school. The work was taxing but more than that my personal life suffered from exhaustion, failing grades, depression, and dangling family values. My mom and dad had been disagreeing about priorities lately and the whole household appeared to be ripping at the once imperishable seams. Something was wrong, and this something was a part of my everyday life. Not until many improving years later was I able to reflect and realize it was particularly the influence of my parents and the unsettled feelings between them that made my 13 year old life heinous.... [tags: Marriage, Matrimony]
1265 words (3.6 pages)
- As young children grow up, their attitudes dramatically transform. They change from loving their parents to disliking them, which is a universal process. When technology adversely affects their lifestyle, this universal process accelerates. Ray Bradbury, an acclaimed writer and a known opponent of Silicon Valley, has published books in order to enlighten the world on the inadequacies of technology. Bradbury says, “People are walking around the streets with phones to their heads talking to someone ten feet away.... [tags: George and Lydia Hadley, children]
1466 words (4.2 pages)
- Case-Study: Steve and Cindy Marital relationship are the bedrock of society. Likewise, men and woman date to find that special one they select to be a lifelong companion until death parts them. Men and women are create different and have different ways of thinking and doing things. In Genesis 2:24 (NKJV) says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Marriage is a covenant agreement that is not to taken lightly. God has created marriage and also knows how to help couples who find their selves in marital discord help in strengthening their marriage.... [tags: therapy, psychological analysis]
1720 words (4.9 pages)
- The epic of Beowulf has three heroic figures. Hrothgar, Beowulf and Wiglaf all become heroes in the story after a feat of strength and bravery transports their name across the land. A hero can only seem to claim the title once the prior hero has passed to the afterlife, as if the previous hero’s existence somehow casts a shadow upon their own. To become a hero each warrior must first prove themselves on the field of battle. Hrothgar, presented in the beginning, is the first and oldest, his heroic exploits are mentioned briefly.... [tags: Beowulf, Hero, Beowulf, Heorot]
1085 words (3.1 pages)
- John Gottman in his book argues that “a lasting marriage results from a couple’s ability to resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship (p. 28)”. In his arguments, John explores the relationship between interpersonal communication and marital satisfaction. By doing so, he advances two hypotheses aimed at addressing problems within a relationship. The first hypothesis is that there is an existing private messaging system between couples, which enhances communication in a healthy marriage.... [tags: conflict, criticism, contempt]
757 words (2.2 pages)
- Introduction For centuries there has been a medical epidemic that has plagued expecting mothers around the world. Considered for so long to be simply a woman’s issue, men remained unconcerned and distant—if they even knew as often they were never told. Most everyone has heard whispers of it, but until recent years the medical and psychological communities did not recognize the lasting implications of this occurrence. Now as couples break historical norms and become more egalitarian-based, this issue is one that not only affects women, but their partners also.... [tags: Pregnancy, Women, Miscarriage, Historical Norms]
1891 words (5.4 pages)
- The Theme of Father/Son Relationships in Beowulf & The Song of Roland The representation of father-son type relationships in early Medieval literary works is a key theme early authors used to give their works more depth and meaning. Two works that use the theme of father-son relationships are Beowulf and The Song of Roland. In Beowulf, the relationship between Hrothgar and Beowulf is one in which there is no actual blood father-son tie, but the two characters take on all the characteristics of a real father son relationship.... [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]
1644 words (4.7 pages)
- Throughout history rulers have always been protective of their kingdoms. In hopes of always being in control of their territory, rulers develop special relationships with the people to protect them. This relationship was usually achieved by of instilling fear into the minds of their warriors, or instilling respect between each other. In the story Beowulf the relationship between the ruler and his thanes is that of honor, friendship, and respect. In Anglo Saxon stories, the relationship between the ruler and his thanes is known as comitatus.... [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]
587 words (1.7 pages)
- My sister is bulimic and has been in therapy for several months now. She seems to be making progress, but this eating disorder seems to rule her life nevertheless. Overwhelmed with conflicting desires, she is obsessed with food and her appearance. I see her suffer and wonder what has caused her to develop such behaviors. I know that there are several factors that can play a role in the inception of an eating disorder. Because of my sister’s problems, I have become interested in the interplay between familial relationships and bulimia.... [tags: Expository Cause Effect Essays]
2451 words (7 pages)
- An Analysis of the Epic Poem, Beowulf - Poetic Devices in Beowulf
- Essay Comparing Beowulf and The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki
- An Analysis of the Epic Poem, Beowulf - The World of Beowulf
- An Analysis of the Epic Poem, Beowulf - A Literary Epic
- The Mead-hall in the Old English Poem Beowulf
- Women in the Epic of Beowulf