Is the sea mentioned only in Beowulf or is it a common element in all Anglo-Saxon poetry? Is the sea described the same way as in Beowulf?
In Beowulf there is one reference after another to the sea. When Scyld died, “his people caried him to the sea, which was his last request,” where he drifted out into the beyond on a “death ship.” In the Geat land Beowulf, a “crafty sailor,” and his men “shoved the well-braced ship out on the journey they’d dreamed of,” to rescue the Danes from Grendel. “From far over the sea’s expanse,” the Geats came, “brave men who come over the sea swells.” In his welcoming speech Hrothgar recalls that the hero’s father “sought us Danes over the rolling waves,” and his warrior Unferth remembers that the hero “struggled with Brecca [youthful companion] in the broad sea in a swimming contest … risked his life in the deep water … hugged the sea, gliding through the boiling waves … toiled seven nights in the sea.” A Dane “was tending to every courtesy” for Beowulf, for “such in those days could a seafarer expect.” King Hrothgar and Queen Welhtheow gave rich gifts “to those on the mead-bench who made the sea-journey.” In the Finnburh Episode, Hengest had to spend the winter months with Finn because “he could not steer his ring-prowed ship on the cold sea.” “Guthlaf and Oslaf spoke of their grief after the sea-journey.” The Danes carried Hildeburh, the queen of Danish ancestry, “over the sea.” “The surging waters” received Beowulf as he swam in pursuit of Grendel’s mother. During the battle Hrothgar and his retinue stared down at the “turbulent water.” Finally Beowulf returned, “protector of sailors, strong swimmer, to land.” Hrothgar, i...
... middle of paper ...
across wastes of water: far warmer to me
are the Lord’s kindnesses than this life of death
lent us on land. . . .
The Seafarer concludes with a rather lengthy prose exhortation to his heareres to fix their hopes on heaven.
The characters in the Old English poem Beowulf certainly delighted in the seas. From this essay it can be appreciated that their attitude toward the sea is both conflictingg with and comparable with that expressed in other Old English poems.
Alexander, Michael, translator. The Earliest English Poems. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.
Chickering, Howell D.. Beowulf A dual-Language Edition. New York: Anchor Books, 1977.
TheSeafarer. In The Earliest English Poems, translated by Michael Alexander. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Women in Beowulf and in Other Anglo-Saxon Poems Are women in these poems active equals of the men. Or are they passive victims of the men. The roles of the women in Beowulf and other Anglo-Saxon poems are not always stereotyped ones of passive homemaker and childbearer and peaceweaver, but sometimes ones giving freedom of choice, range of activity, and room for personal growth and development. Beowulf makes reference to Ingeld and his wife and the coming Heathobard feud: in that hot passion his love for peace-weaver, his wife, will cool (2065-66) This is a rare passage, for Anglo-Saxon poetry rarely mentions romantic feelings toward women.... [tags: Epic of Beowulf womenbeo]
1920 words (5.5 pages)
- The Sword in Beowulf and in Other Anglo-Saxon Poems Is the sword mentioned only in Beowulf or is it a common element in all Anglo-Saxon poetry. Is the sword described the same way as in Beowulf. In “Beowulf and Archaeology” Catherine M. Hills states: “The most important weapon referred to in Beowulf is the sword” (305). In the poem lines 1557 ff. tell the poet’s description of the sword Beowulf finds in the mere: Then he saw among the armor a victory-bright blade made by the giants, an uncracking edge, an honor for its bearer, the best of weapons, but longer and heavier than any othe... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1386 words (4 pages)
- The Concept of God in Beowulf and Other Anglo-Saxon Poems Is the concept of God mentioned only in Beowulf or is it a common element in all Anglo-Saxon poetry. Is the concept of God described the same way as in Beowulf. Beowulf presents a mixture of Christian and pagan elements Hrothgar is demonstrably a monotheist, bu this people were offering sacrifice to pagan gods when Grendel caused them to despair. Let’s try to clarify the concept of God in this poem. In the early lines of this classic we see what is meant by GOD and by GOODNESS, as embodied or exemplified by the king, in this case by King Scyld Scefing: he grew under heaven, prospered in honors... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1814 words (5.2 pages)
- ... Even in his very old age he is still willing to fight and is not scared to fight to protect his people. Another brave thing, Beowulf did was fight without weapons. This is hard to do knowing a person can lessen their chances at wounding their opponent without having a weapon. However, in that case it was the only way since weapons did not work on Grendel. This is what the Anglo-Saxons adulate :people who do not back down to challenges and are brave enough to face them like Beowulf. Heroism is another theme in Beowulf that deals with the Anglo Saxons people.... [tags: Beowulf, Anglo-Saxons, Epic poetry, Saxons]
1210 words (3.5 pages)
- Originating in the Anglo-Saxon period, the epic poem Beowulf portrays a legendary hero. Beowulf established the earlier form of heroism, and was then later introduced in to the English culture. Praised and admired by many people, Beowulf possesses several distinct traits that allow him to be defined perfectly as an ideal Anglo-Saxon hero; his eagerness to seek glory and fame, rather than richness and treasures, his loyalty and graceful attitude not only to his rulers but also to his followers, and his contradictory beliefs of faith and fate In the Anglo-Saxon society, an ideal hero does not seek riches of gold and treasures; instead, he seeks fame and glory through his accomplishments.... [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon]
864 words (2.5 pages)
- An Anglo Saxon epic poem, Beowulf, which was originally passed down through an oral tradition during the 5th century was written into literacy by an unknown Christian monk during the 10th century. This classic poem explicitly illustrates an ideal Anglo Saxon hero of possessing the characteristics that many people during that time regarded highly. Beowulf is an epitome of an Anglo Saxon ideal hero who possesses loyalty to both of his people and king, desires to gain glory and fame for his own recognition rather than riches, and believes devotedly to his destiny and faith in God.... [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon]
635 words (1.8 pages)
- Existence as an Angelo-Saxon warrior was rewarding, however at the same instant it was difficult. Warlords had a number of warriors obliged to serve them. Being a warrior had a worthwhile life, they spent their time shining armor, readying their sword and intimidating the other warriors. Being an Anglo- Saxon warrior was gratifying life because warriors got fame, glory, recognition, and treasure. The younger boys looked up to either their father that was a warrior or another warrior. They idolized these men because they received fame.... [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon]
1688 words (4.8 pages)
- ... The heroes, in epic poems, go on adventures or quests throughout their lives in order to prove their worthiness to their people. This consists of more than one adventure, defeating multiple “monsters.” Monsters include other individuals, dragons, or just plain evil. Legendary heroes performed valorous deeds, meaning they proved themselves through strength, courage, and self-sacrifice. Therefore, the hero will die for his people when the event presumed itself. Legendary heroes are presumbly strong, but not undefeatable.... [tags: Beowulf, Hero, Epic poetry, Poetic form]
1126 words (3.2 pages)
- The Anglo Saxon period is also known as the dark ages, mainly because written sources for the early years of Saxon invasion are scarce. This culture was a period of war breaking up the Britannia into separate kingdoms. The climate has changed the way the Anglo Saxons have chose their homes because of the glaciers melting caused foods so it made choosing more difficult. They ended up settling in Bbritain for sometime it was warmer. This meant that their crops were more successful. They had many loyal warriors that fought in the roman army in Bbritain.... [tags: Anglo-Saxons, Beowulf, Anglo-Saxon England]
1160 words (3.3 pages)
- The Anglo-Saxons are a people that are almost entirely unknown to the world today. Their society flourished a thousand years ago, after the fall of the Roman empire and very few remnants of their life remain. As such, the only glimpse of these people lies within their literature: the poems and letters remaining from the time. However, understanding the writings of any society requires a knowledge of the context and culture behind them. This creates a devastating paradox in which it becomes nearly impossible to deduce an unbiased view of life in Anglo-Saxon England.... [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Translation, Anglo-Saxons]
1165 words (3.3 pages)
- A Comparison of the Sword in Beowulf and in Other Anglo-Saxon Poems
- Women in the Epic of Beowulf and in Other Anglo-Saxon Poems
- Beowulf and Poor Catechesis
- A Comparison of Honor in Beowulf and Parzival
- paganbeo Pagan Aspect of Beowulf
- Essay Comparing the Concept of God in Beowulf and Other Anglo-Saxon Poems