Symbolism: Found Even in Monsters
Glory for one’s King, Glory for one’s ancestors, Glory for one’s tribe, Glory for one’s self. These are the noble qualities only certain epic knights condone. Throughout the oldest surviving epic poem, Beowulf an Anglo-Saxon piece of literature, the courageous warrior Beowulf, hero of the Geats, embodies these heroic characteristics as the defender gallantly volunteers to aid King Hrothgar defeating not one or two, but three heinous creatures with honor. In a different perception, each behemoth Beowulf conquers symbolizes more than just a facing a ghastly creature.
Beowulf, morally durable and audacious, first secures the Danes against a satanic being named Grendel. The battle between hero and fiend is an utter victory for Beowulf as he rips off the arm of the beast with his bare hands and leaves him to run home and soon perish. In the beginning, the author describes Grendel as a descendant of Cain, a biblical reference to infernal traits as the author portrays Grendel as a, “...grim demon / haunting the marches, marauding round the heath / and the desolate fens…” (Beowulf 102-103). Due to his appearance and actions, Grendel symbolizes pure evil and death. The previous quote explains how demonic and unruling Grendel is and how his only pleasure comes from the pain and hurt of the innocent. The reason why Beowulf is highly praised due to his conquering the devil in mere flesh is because that is exactly what Grendel is perceived as towards the readers, a demon of death who needed to be stop by someone beyond the normal human-beings limitations. Here, Beowulf proves to be the ‘supernatural being’ the Danes have prayed for. Beowulf’s next opponent is Grendel 's mother, a hellion of t...
... middle of paper ...
...Grendel’s battle with his mothers’ battle, readers see Beowulf struggled more with Grendel’s mother as his sword fails him as, “…the shinning blade / refused to bite”(1523-1524). In this fight scene, Grendel’s mother is not only representing a horrible creature, yet a horrible creature seeking for revenge. Because of this, Beowulf finds this battle more challenging as he must use a special sword. Lastly, before battling the heinous dragon, Beowulf tells the King of the Danes that he is prepared for death and is ready for whatever the fire-breather has in store. This battle is significantly harder than the two previous battles as Beowulf realizes his special sword is not working for him: “…the blade flashed and slashed yet the blow / was far less powerful than the hard-pressed king / had need of at that moment”(2578-2580). Beowulf is in shock as he now must face a
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Beowulf vs Symbolical Monsters Beowulf, by an Anglo- Saxon poet (Anonymously), is an old epic poem that illustrates several meaning such as symbolism or allegorical meaning. In Christian medieval culture, “monster” referred to birth defects, which was understood as a sign from God. The monsters in Beowulf, each have their own meaning behind each battle, and their own symbolism within their own character. Grendel was the biblical figure of Cain and Christianly symbolizes Sin, Grendel’s mother was the complete opposite of culture values in women.... [tags: Beowulf, Epic poetry, Symbol, Symbolism]
723 words (2.1 pages)
- Beowulf is an interesting story in that it has a meaning that is firmly rooted in fantasy creatures based in mythical origins while providing insight into religious ideals and practices of the time. It also speaks of tradition and the struggle of man against things perceived as evil. In this tradition especially, Beowulf is an incredible allegory regarding the struggle of good and evil in the Christian tradition. In order to consider this as such an allegory, we must define the scope of the struggle.... [tags: Christianity, Good, Evil]
837 words (2.4 pages)
- ‘’The scholar does not consider gold and jade to be precious treasures, but loyalty and good faith.’’ (Confucius) This epic poem written by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet is now well-thought-out to be a cornerstone in the modern literature. Throughout the epic poem, many metaphors and symbols are found, which have what serve as the core of this literature. Although they are all just as valid to the epic poem, the one that stands out the most would categorically be the substantial element of gold.... [tags: Gold, King]
763 words (2.2 pages)
- Symbolism is the practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or ideas. Symbolism is one of the most common practices of writing, and has been used for centuries. Symbols can often tell a story better than a human can because of there deeper meaning. When epic poems became popular during the Anglo-Saxon period they were filled with harrowing tales of bravery, and courage. Epic poems are long narrative poems that often have characters facing impossible tasks and still finding courage to defeat them.... [tags: Anglo Saxon Literature]
746 words (2.1 pages)
- Symbolism of Battle in Beowulf Beowulf Authors often use events and things to symbolize stages in someone's life. Symbolism is the practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing meaning of significance to objects, events, or relationships. In the anonymous epic, Beowulf, Beowulf fights Grendel, the monsters of the ocean and Grendel's mother. Beowulf's battles with theses three evils symbolize the youth and adulthood of Beowulf's life. The battle with Grendel represents the youth of Beowulf's life.... [tags: Epic Beowulf essays]
680 words (1.9 pages)
- Anglo Saxon’s history is well known for their loyalty, courage and bravery. Beowulf our protagonist is symbolized as a hero, who represents the Anglo Saxons at the time. Beowulf earns his fame and respect through battling creatures nobody else would want to face. These creatures symbolize the evil that lurks beyond the dark. Beowulf’s intense battle with these creatures’ symbolizes the epic battle of good versus evil. In the end good triumphs over evil but one cannot avoid death. Beowulf’s death can be symbolized as the death of the Anglo Saxons.... [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon]
843 words (2.4 pages)
- Dating back to the stone ages, humans have always instinctively expressed their feelings and emotions through some sort of art or words, thus the beginning of literature. The people of the Anglo Saxon era used poetry predominantly as an expression of life at war and heroic actions. Beowulf relies heavily on using characters to express itself as cultural value and symbolism to show the significant concept of the poem; this is done through using creativity, resilience, bravery and perseverance. The Anglo Saxon time period was highly enthused by bravery, as a way of proving one’s self.... [tags: Beowulf: Symbolism, Cultural Value]
1244 words (3.6 pages)
- Literature all through history uses symbolism to portray different ideas, religions, and beliefs. Throughout Beowulf symbolism is used both to reinforce the importance of religion and to impress the values of the Anglo Saxons upon the reader. Beowulf contains multiple instances of the usage of symbolism to Christianity. Symbolism is portrayed through the characters and situations in the epic poem. According to the Danes in the epic, Beowulf is viewed as a savior. Staver states, “Jesus is the young warrior who comes to earth to fight with Satan” (Staver 155).... [tags: Christianity, evil, courage]
781 words (2.2 pages)
- ... Herot hall is a symbol of Heaven thorough the way it was built. Lines 460-65 tell how it was built: “Hrothgar’s wise men had fashioned Herot/To stand forever; only fire,/They had planned, could shatter what such skill had put/Together, Swallow in hot flames such splendor/Of ivory and iron and wood.” This shows that only the devil can destroy this magnificent building. The poem symbolizes Beowulf jumping in to Grendel’s Lake as a baptism. In line 594-95 shows that he was protected by God: “Light burned all around him, the lake/Itself like a fiery flame.” The light burning around him is meant to show that God is with him.... [tags: beliefs, views, devil, symbolism]
647 words (1.8 pages)
- Beowulf’s Metaphorical Monsters Beowulf outlines turmoil between three opponents: Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the Dragon. These separate discords each serve to fulfill different metaphoric purposes. Grendel’s character epitomizes the adverse persona of how an Anglo-Saxon warrior should not be. His mother represents everything that a woman during the time era should seldom be. Lastly, the Dragon embodies all the values that an Anglo-Saxon king should not dare retain. Without a doubt, the symbolic implications of the monsters in Beowulf bring the context to a new level of understanding.... [tags: Beowulf, Heorot, Anglo-Saxons, Hroðgar]
1017 words (2.9 pages)