In the epic Beowulf translated by Burton Raffel fate plays a major role in thecharacters lives. Characters allow fate to influence them and how they go aboutdoing things.
But is it really fate or peoples tendencies to do what they chosetoo. ” Fate saves the living when they drive death away bythemselves.”(Pg. 9) Is fate what brought Beowulf to prevail over Grendal?” The monster would have murdered again and again had not God, and thehero’s courage, turned fate aside.
“(Pg56) Beowulf was not supposed to winbut out of his own free will he prevailed and saves the Geats and many helplesspeople. Although when Beowulf went against Grendal he relied on God for all thehelp and he killed the monster as God had meant for him to do. Beowulf does notallow fate to influence him. If fate is not on his side he makes it on his side.Beowulf is an example of using both fate and free will to live out his life.
Helooks toward and thanks fate for everything but yet if he doesn’t agree withfate he looks toward his free will. If he wants something bad enough he willprevail and get what he wants. ” Fate sent him to the Dragon and sent himto death” (pg. 98) Everything that Beowulf gains is according to him byfate. ” The gifts that higlac gave me, and the land, I earned with mysword, as fate allowed” (pg100) He is ready to trust his life in fate.
Whenhe faces Grendals mother he says, ” I’d use no sword, no weapon, if thisbeast could be killed without it, crushed to death like Grendal, gripped in myhands and torn limb from limb. But his breath will be burning hot; poison willpour from his tongue. I feel no shame, with shield and sword and armor, againstthis monster: when he comes to me I mean to stand, not run from his shootingflames, stand till fate decides which of us wins.” (Pg101) Beowulf is notafraid to die for his cause and is though to be a hero because of his courage.He saved the city because he used his free will to kill the monster when he wasthe one who was supposed to die.
Beowulf died because of fate but it was hisfree will that saved the city and the people. So Beowulf used both to prevail asa warrior and a king who was loved and feared by his people.