Revenge of Beowulf Essay

Revenge of Beowulf Essay

Length: 1194 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Revenge of Beowulf

Beowulf is an epic poem that, above all, gives the reader an idea of a time long past; a time when the most important values were courage and integrity. The only factors that could bestow shower fame upon a person were heroic deeds and family lineage. Beowulf, as the paradigm of pagan heroes, exhibited his desire to amass fame and fortune; the only way to do so was to avenge the death of others. This theme of retribution that is ever present throughout the poem seems to color the identities of its characters.
Revenge is presented both as an honest motive and a rhetorical tactic in Beowulf. For Beowulf himself, reprisal of monsters’ misdeeds is his path to the top: worldwide fame, endless wealth, and universal respect. Grendel’s violence is caused less by revenge than by complete frustration with his situation. Other characters’ actions are fueled directly by a sincere desire for a settling of scores. Grendel’s mother kills Aeschere solely because Beowulf killed Grendel. The last monster that the Hero of the Geats ever faces has only one goal: to guard his hoard of treasure. When his fortune is pilfered, revenge is the dragon’s only way to react. While revenge is a common façade in Beowulf, some characters feel an honest need for retribution and seek it to their life’s end.
Grendel’s mother exhibits the most pure form of revenge out of all of Beowulf’s enemies. She is never heard from or seen until Beowulf kills Grendel and keeps his talon as a token of victory. “... It became clear,/ obvious to everyone... that an avenger lurked and was sti...

... middle of paper ...

...r dying son, Grendel himself, who may appear vengeful, is truly acting out of jealousy and a sense of resentment towards people happier than him. The dragon also acts out of a sense of vengeance, but its actions are ultimately used to create a fateful deathbed for Beowulf. While he Beowulf masks his true intentions with a pretense of vengeance, Beowulf himself best describes the sense of revenge in the poem.
Wise sir, do not grieve. It is always better / to avenge
dear ones than to indulge in mourning. / For every one
of us, living in this world / means waiting for our end.
Let whoever can / win glory before death. When a warrior
is gone, / that will be his best and only bulwark. (Beowulf, 1384-1389)

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Epic Poem, Beowulf - Vengeance and Revenge in Beowulf Essay

- Vengeance and Revenge in Beowulf   The oldest of the great lengthy poems written in English and perhaps the lone survivor of a genre of Anglo-Saxon epics, Beowulf, was written by an unknown Christian author at a date that is only estimated.  Even so, it is a remarkable narrative story in which the poet reinvigorates the heroic language, style, and values of Germanic oral poetry.  He intertwines a number of themes including good and evil, youth and old age, paganism and Christianity and the heroic ideal code, into his principal narrative and numerous digressions and episodes; all of which were extremely important to his audience at the time.  Vengeance, part of the heroic code, was regard...   [tags: Epic Beowulf essays]

Strong Essays
1317 words (3.8 pages)

Revenge: A Theme in Beowulf Essay

- ... In this battle the Danes leader was killed, as well as Finn’s only heir. The Danes, leaderless, were then lead by Hengest who forced a treaty with the and Finn, so they were taken under the care of Finn. “Finn, son of Focwald, should honor the Danes, bestow with an even hand to Hengest and Hengest’s men the wrought-gold rings (1089-1092)”. The Danes were maddened by this and began to be resentful towards the Frisians and at the coming of Spring they renewed the fight and killed Finn, and robbed him thoroughly....   [tags: Avenge, Danes, Feuds]

Strong Essays
650 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about Revenge is Tragic

- “Vengeance is sweet” and “Revenge is a dish best served cold “are two statements often used to describe Revenge , but in British literature the idea of revenge leads to tragedy ;this fact is evident in the stories Frankenstein, Hamlet, and Beowulf. Throughout each story Particular characters are challenged by a need for vengeance. Revenge is a emotion that can be stronger than love and that comes saddled with hate, anger and tragedy. In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein the character of the monster is a intelligent , kind hearted being who spirals down a path of darkness after being rejected by his creator....   [tags: Frankenstein, Hamlet, Beowulf, vengeance]

Strong Essays
3018 words (8.6 pages)

Beowulf’s Good vs Evil Essay

- Throughout history elders, bards, and writers have used the struggle between good and evil as a basis for their tall tales. This struggle makes for a good story because it provides tension, plot, climax, and usually a good ending. It also shows the many different types of good and evil. These ideas are not always snow white and pitch black, and often originate from various places in the story. Regardless of the source, the epic Beowulf has representation of both good and evil throughout its pages....   [tags: revenge, death, battle]

Strong Essays
581 words (1.7 pages)

Beowulf a Poem Translated by Seamus Heaney Essay

- In the poem, Beowulf, by an unknown poet, as translated by Seamus Heaney, we see many monstrous behaviors. A few of the examples stand out more than the rest: wanton destruction, a woman acting as a man, and the act of killing one’s kin. Wanton destruction goes against the ideals that governed the Anglo-Saxon culture. The warrior kings had duties to uphold. We see that they revered kings who would bring protection and give freely to the young and old and not cause harm. One good illustration of this is the nature in which King Hrothgar dispensed his wealth, he dispensed it to the needy and he didn’t give away “the common land or the people’s lives” (71-73)....   [tags: beowulf]

Strong Essays
1057 words (3 pages)

The Battle of Good vs. Evil in Beowulf Essay

- During the Anglo-Saxon age where good and evil clashed in battle, there was a brave hero named Beowulf who fought many battles and who led monsters to their doom. With fate and strength by his side nothing could stop him. There were two kingdoms in this story that were overcome by evil. The People tried to fight back but it was no match for such an evil. The attitudes and actions between various monsters and humans show that Beowulf is a story comprised of battles fating good against evil. The evil Grendel is killing the people of Hrothgar, and the strength of their kingdom is not enough to stop him....   [tags: monster, revenge, bravery]

Strong Essays
539 words (1.5 pages)

Fear in Beowulf Essay

- Pagan Aspects in Beowulf Scholars have argued about the religious stance of the epic poem Beowulf for centuries. Although the man who put the poem down on paper, known as the Beowulf poet, was a devout Christian, the actual poem itself is pagan. There are many clues in the epic that lead us to this conclusion such as the numerous references to pagan symbols, namely the symbol of fate. Also, the central idea of revenge in the poem opposes the ideas of Christianity. The poem also contains many breaches of the Ten Commandments, which prove that the story is not Christian....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Strong Essays
889 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Epic of Beowulf

- Beowulf Beowulf vs. The Knight from Canterbury Tales A hero or heroine can be found in many different forms. There are certain characteristics that make up a hero or a heroine. Some of those characteristics are someone who is endowed with great courage, loyalty, obedience, cleverness, strength, and someone who is noted for special achievement. The hero Beowulf, from the story Beowulf, is a seemingly invincible person with all the extraordinary traits required of a hero. He is able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Strong Essays
903 words (2.6 pages)

Beowulf Essay

- Beowulf Beowulf was written during the Anglo-Saxon time period. Beowulf is a story about a young warrior and his quest through life. Some people consider Beowulf a tragic hero, and some people just consider him a hero period. Whether Beowulf is a tragic hero or not, he fights many great battles. The reason Beowulf fights stays basically the same but it changes a little. In the beginning of the book, Beowulf goes to help the Danes out by killing Grendel. Grendel is a ferocious monster that has been killing the Danes in the mead hall (115)....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Free Essays
828 words (2.4 pages)

Beowulf Essay

- The epic poem, Beowulf, depicts the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. The hero, Beowulf, was an outstanding warrior with all the extraordinary values required by a hero. He was able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself. He encountered terrifying monsters and the most ferocious of beasts, but he never feared the threat of death. His leadership skills were excellent and he was able to boast about all his achievements. Beowulf was the ultimate epic hero who risked his life countless times for immortal glory and for the good of others....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays]

Free Essays
995 words (2.8 pages)