Danish Paganism and Christianity in Beowulf

The story of Beowulf shows the effect of the spread of Christianity in the early Danish paganistic society that values heroic deeds and bravery above all else. The mythical creatures that Beowulf kills with his supernatural strength make the story into an epic celebrating the life of a great hero. However, blending in among Beowulf’s … Read more

Analyzing Beowulf Women

A quick read-through of the Old English epic poem Beowulf reveals that the text centers heavily around male characters and typically masculine themes. The main character, Beowulf, a powerful and renowned hero, sets on an epic journey to save the kingdom of Danes from the relentless cruelty of Grendel, a vicious monster, and during his initial … Read more

Beowulf As A Representation Of Mankind

Beowulf, as a character, is often described as the original model for the hero found in literature from antiquity to the modern day. New interpretations of the text, however, focus more on Beowulf the man rather than Beowulf the hero of Heorot. If we focus less on the struggle between good and evil found in … Read more

Grendel: Violent Impulse and Naturally Destructive

“In peaceful times the warlike man sets upon himself.” The poem “Beowulf” illustrates the violent, primitive reality of the truth in Nietszche’s aphorism. The monster Grendel plays a symbolic role as the primordial, inalienable instincts that exist on the fringes of human civilization whose existence is ignored and whose presence is desperately barred from entrance … Read more

A Synpsis of The foundation text of English literature, titled Beowulf

The foundation text of English literature, titled Beowulf (meaning “man wolf” when translated into the modern language), presents readers with a hero named Beowulf who fights three different battles, each with its own monster. Beowulf’s first battle awaits him when he travels to present day Denmark to save the Danes from a monster named Grendel … Read more

Reading Techniques In Beowulf

Within the Old English epic poem entitled ‘Beowulf,’ one theme dominates: to overcome chaos and establish order, a fearless individual must continually fight the force of evil. Even after the poem’s protagonist, Beowulf, victoriously destroys Grendel, the personification of chaos and evil, Beowulf’s battles are not over. Grendel’s mother remains alive and an immediate threat. … Read more

Violence: The Controversial Theme Of Beowulf

“So that troubled time continued, woe that never stopped…” (Beowulf 38) In the epic poem Beowulf, the relation of aggression and heroism is complicated and challenging, especially when a contemporary reader is introduced to views expressed from the perspective of the Anglo-Saxon culture base. The challenge, therefore, is to interpret and understand the complex view … Read more

Development of Characterization n Beowulf, Gilgamesh, and the Iliad

What makes a character in a story different from any other character? While reading epic novels about the Anglo-Saxon culture and epic heroes, a character’s characterization and his development of characterization set him apart from the other characters in the novel. There are multiple ways that characterization developed while using a different literary element present … Read more

Violence: The Controversial Theme Of Beowulf

“So that troubled time continued, woe that never stopped…” (Beowulf 38) In the epic poem Beowulf, the relation of aggression and heroism is complicated and challenging, especially when a contemporary reader is introduced to views expressed from the perspective of the Anglo-Saxon culture base. The challenge, therefore, is to interpret and understand the complex view … Read more

Heroism and Courage in Anglo-Saxon in Beowulf

In Beowulf lines 530-606, the author uses literary devices to characterize heroism in Anglo-Saxon culture. Specifically, Beowulf characterizes an Anglo-Saxon hero as someone who will always fight for their people, even if it results in their own death. In the passage the author characterizes the courage of the hero, Beowulf, by using specific diction, imagery, … Read more

Beowulf and Christianity

The poem Beowulf marks a period of change in the history of England, namely, the introduction of Christianity amongst the Anglo-Saxons, which led to a newfound interest in literacy. In the seventh century, Irish monks from the north were active in propagating Christianity, aided by the mission of Augustine, which during the same time extended … Read more

Beowulf Characters Contradiction

Within the first six hundred lines of Beowulf, the poet introduces several characters – Hrothgar, Wulfgar and Unferth – who are juxtaposed against Beowulf to not only glorify the protagonist, but also illustrate the heroic codes of the time. Hrothgar’s portrayal by the poet as a generous and “good” king, yet at the same time … Read more

Three Good Kings Of Beowulf

The phrase “he was a good king” appears three times in Beowulf. The first iteration (line 11) is a homage to Shield Sheafson. By describing Sheafson in honorific terms, the poet suggests that Sneafson’s offspring are also worthy of respect. The second iteration refers to Hrothgar, descendant of Sheafson; the poet tells us “yet there … Read more

Good vs. Evil as found in “Beowulf”

In the epic “Beowulf,” there is a constant struggle between good and evil. This poem is an early example of the phrase, “Bad guys never win.” Examples of this theme include: God versus Cain, Beowulf versus Grendal, and Beowulf versus Grendal’s mother. The first battle between God (good) and Cain (evil) is actually an allusion … Read more

The Sovereignty Of Beowulf Kings

Beowulf opens with the story of the ancient king, Shield Sheafson, in order to establish a discussion on kingship, and to begin building a definition of what constitutes a “good king”. Once this definition has been established, the text uses it to evaluate the other European kings in the tale, especially Hrothgar and Beowulf. This … Read more

The Pagan Heroism Of Beowulf

The epic poem Beowulf highlights the role of God as a guiding protector who provides earthly wealth and well-being to the people of 6th century Denmark and Sweden. Beowulf and his people worship a pagan god who serves to keep humility and peace. The Anglo-Saxons were Pagan at the time in which this epic poem … Read more

Beowulf: The Mere and the Mead-Hall

The description of the two different battle scenes wherein Beowulf slays the monsters are described in great detail, and are both quite different. Beowulf’s battle with Grendel occurs in the Danish king’s mead hall-a civilized and comfortable setting, while the battle with Grendel’s mother takes place in a much wilder and more dangerous locale. The … Read more

Anglo-Saxon Ideologies And Customary Practices By Pagans

The poem Beowulf was written between the 8th and 10th centuries, a time of great transition. Anglo-Saxons still dominated England, and Christianity had only come to the region one hundred or so years before. Although the new religion spread quickly, Anglo-Saxon (or Norse) paganism and its influence in the English people’s lives did not subside … Read more

The Portrayal of the Anglo-Saxon Cultural Practices As Illustrated In the Verse Composition Known as Beowulf

Chicago’s renowned John Hancock center, the local Eisenhower Jr. High, and the Daley center are all buildings named after individuals who were valued and looked upon with respect. Today, people value education, talent, and leadership enough to name buildings after individuals who portray these traits. Since the Anglo-Saxon time period, things have been altered. Anglo-Saxons … Read more

The Meaning Of Rings In Beowulf

Rings are to medieval lords and retainers as medals are to athletes: a reward that is earned through hard work and dedication to a cause that makes them feel both empowered and worthwhile, while at the same time reminding them to work harder and strive to be better in the future. In the epic poem … Read more

Ways In Which Polytheism And Monotheism Affect Gender Roles

Throughout western history, enormous gender differences have been evident in both monotheistic and polytheistic cultures. Indeed, the patriarchal hierarchies in both social systems have emphasized the superiority of the male sex; however, greater stress is placed on the worthlessness of women in a monotheistic society. The fact that women in polytheistic worlds such as those … Read more

Destiny is The Hero’s Death In Beowulf

In the thrilling epic Beowulf, the theme of fatalism is very apparent throughout the poem. “Fate will go as it must.” (Line 455) The Anglo Saxons believed that people lived life as an everyday struggle against undefeatable odds and that a man’s “wyrd” or fate would be what it would be (Chickenring 269). The Anglo-Saxon’s … Read more

Brain Power Vs. Physical Strength: Beowulf’s Character Revealed In Monster Fighting

Beowulf’s fight with Grendel proves his heroic credentials and strength. Grendel, the unstoppable demonic troll, all but surrenders at Beowulf’s squashing grip. The bone-crushing grab, however, raises a crux debated by Beowulf scholars: Does Beowulf make the first move and put the death clamp on the approaching Grendel? Or does the blood-smeared Grendel strike first? … Read more

Symbols Of Faith And Traditions In Beowulf

Beowulf is an important text in the history of British literature as it is the first notable work to be written in the English language. Yet, it is significant beyond its chronological status. Containing both Christian and pagan elements, Beowulf reflects the historical-relgious context in which it was written. The presence of two religious ideals … Read more

Symbols Of Faith And Traditions In Beowulf

Beowulf is an important text in the history of British literature as it is the first notable work to be written in the English language. Yet, it is significant beyond its chronological status. Containing both Christian and pagan elements, Beowulf reflects the historical-relgious context in which it was written. The presence of two religious ideals … Read more

Analyzing Beowulf Women

A quick read-through of the Old English epic poem Beowulf reveals that the text centers heavily around male characters and typically masculine themes. The main character, Beowulf, a powerful and renowned hero, sets on an epic journey to save the kingdom of Danes from the relentless cruelty of Grendel, a vicious monster, and during his initial … Read more

Liuzza Vs. Heaney’s Beowulf

Although Seamus Heaney and R. M. Liuzza have both translated the literary work Beowulf from Old English text, subtle differences appear throughout their works that reveal the unique perspectives held by each author. When one compares the different translations, it becomes apparent that although Liuzza and Heaney?s translations closely resemble each other, slight disparities exist … Read more

Beowulf and Christianity

The poem Beowulf marks a period of change in the history of England, namely, the introduction of Christianity amongst the Anglo-Saxons, which led to a newfound interest in literacy. In the seventh century, Irish monks from the north were active in propagating Christianity, aided by the mission of Augustine, which during the same time extended … Read more

Review of Robert Zemeckis’ 2007 Film and Poetry behind Beowulf

This is my comparison of Robert Zemeckis’ 2007 movie Beowulf and of the epic poem Beowulf. Robert Zemeckis’ 2007 movie tells the story of Beowulf, the character. However, they share not only similarities but also share differences. There are many differences between the both. I honestly think that the movie shows moredetail and explains the … Read more

A Synpsis of The foundation text of English literature, titled Beowulf

The foundation text of English literature, titled Beowulf (meaning “man wolf” when translated into the modern language), presents readers with a hero named Beowulf who fights three different battles, each with its own monster. Beowulf’s first battle awaits him when he travels to present day Denmark to save the Danes from a monster named Grendel … Read more

Good vs Evil

Within the pages of “Beowulf” there is a constant struggle between good and evil. The epic poem is a classic tale of good versus evil with Grendel and Grendel’s mother being the embodiment of evil and Beowulf being good. Both sides share contrasting qualities. The themes within this epic include: God versus Cain, Beowulf versus … Read more