Beowulf

?Justification for the Abandonment and Solitude of Beowulf Beowulf is the classic tale of a mighty and heroic Geat leader who comes to an unpleasant and seemingly early end. Throughout his life, Beowulf had been an excellent leader and had led his army to many victories over many foes, of his land and of many others as well. At his peak, Beowulf was the mightiest warrior on all the earth: There was no one else like him alive. In his day, he was the mightiest man on earth, high-born and powerful. (297-298). Eventually, Beowulf would come to be ruler over many people. During this time he would defeat many enemies, two of which being Grendel and his mother. After their defeat, Beowulf and his people experienced a time of peace and prosperity which was enjoyed by all. He remained undefeated until the bitter end when he was defeated by the dragon in the underwater hell-like grave. Beowulfs death marked the end of not only his reign, but also of the safety know by his people, and also the end of his kingdom. The reasons for his abandonment of his people and his insistence to fight alone are not clear, although many have theories as to why the great warrior chose the fate he did. The first topic at hand is why Beowulf chose to fight by himself, especially in the case of the dragon. Beowulf was a very valiant warrior who fought his greatest battles alone, or at least single-handedly. First of all, his battle against Grendel was brilliantly maneuvered in that he awakened from a complete slumber to slay the mighty Grendel and mutilate his body. Secondly, Beowulf battled against Grendels mother (who was excessively disturbed about the death of her beloved son) and won a triumphant battle. In both battles, Beowulf won by his own means and was very victorious in each occasion. The question could be raised as to why he chose to fight alone as opposed to having many skilled warriors to help him in his plight to defeat the evil in the world. One possible theory is that it is much more valiant to be the victor of a battle which you yourself have fought and won. This way, there is only one person who is capable of receiving credit for the battle which could help in later times as to the correctness of the tale. Perhaps Beowulf did not wish for people to wonder as to who the true hero was, so he simply resolved the issue by fighting alone. Also, if a battle is fought and won by a single person, they are automatically more glorified than if a whole army was to have won. This may be because it is simply easier to maintain records of one person as opposed to a whole army or group of people. The winner in this case is able to receive all the glory which is due them and not have to worry about someone horning in on their moment of well-earned fame. By being more glorious and not having to share their fame, a leaders position of authority (whatever it may be) is less likely to be challenged than if many people were involved in the victory. In this case, the leader receives a little more cushing in their position, which is generally a very positive thing for any ruler to experience. After all, no one would like to be overthrown because of their weakness and inability to perform under pressure in a battle. Now the question as to why Beowulf abandoned his people is at hand. He most likely did not do this on purpose and had no intent to destroy his kingdom which he had worked so hard to create. A possible theory as to why this happened could be that he simply did not think about the void he would leave if he was to leave his throne for some reason. One point that must be observed here is that Beowulf had to blood relatives which could succeed him on the throne, so he would of had to hand picked one of his subjects to follow after him, and only hope that his choice of leadership would not be undermined by those who wished to be rulers but in reality were not capable of a leadership position which involved so much responsibility and integrity. Of course, there is also the possibility that Beowulf was aware that if he died his kingdom would crumble, so he did the valiant thing and ended the kingdom at the same time its king ended. This way, the kingdom would have a rather subtle end instead of a violent one in which many people fought over the rights to the kingdom. This also prevented corruption of the kingdom and the throne by the rulership of a bad or unjust king. There remains only one question now, which is Beowulfs reasoning for fighting the dragon alone. Surely he was aware of the dangers involved with fighting a ferocious creature that late in his life, especially when one considers that Beowulf was not only aging, but also that he was fighting on uncommon ground and all the odds were against him. Perhaps he did this because he wanted to prove to his people that he was still a mighty and heroic leader, even though it put him in a compromising situation. If he did not go to battle, then he would be viewed as a weakening and a fallen king by his people, but then again, if he did fight, but lost he would not be any better off than if he were to not fight at all. The most he could hope for would either be victory or death if he chose to fight. And, withe being the heroic warrior he was, and with wanting to protect his people from harm, he decided to fight against the dragon in his underwater hell-like lair. Maybe Beowulf wished to be extra victorious in his waning years by defeat the great dragon alone, or he may have realized that a good way to live on (in spirit) among his people would be to exit the world in a heroic battle. Regardless of victory of defeat, Beowulf would be honored for being a victorious and heroic warrior and a good leader for his people. In a way, Beowulf ended his reign at a peak, even though he had already experienced many high points along the way. One can theorize all they would like, but the only person to really know the motives of Beowulf is Beowulf, and since there is no way of truly finding out, the only thing left to do is to guess the best we can and hope that possible somebody somewhere will create a believable theory which all people can believe and end the wondering. Until then, all are free to wonder and theorize and attempt to make sense of all the wonderment and complexities of the allusive Beowulf.

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 Beowulf, Beowulf fights Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a fire-breathing dragon. In the anonymous epic Beowulf, Beowulf’s battles symbolize the youth, adulthood, and old age of Beowulf’s life. First, the battle with Grendel represents the youth of Beowulf’s life.

The typical youth is very brave and fights for fame. Beowulf shows how the battle with Grendel is a representation of the youth of Beowulf’s life by going to Hrothgar and asking him if he can fight Grendel for him and his people. Beowulf shows this trait when he says, Grant me, then, lord and protector of this noble place, a single request! I have come so far, oh shelter of warriors and your people’s loved friend, that this one favor you should not refuse me. That I, alone and with the help of my men, may purge all evil from this Hell. Second, another trait that a typical youth has is that they don’t want to be outwitted. They also don’t want people to think poorly of them.

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Beowulf shows this when he hears that Grendel does not use any weapons to fight and so Beowulf says that he will not use any weapons because he wants Higlac to think worthy of him. Beowulf shows this trait when he says, I have heard, too, that the monster’s scorn of men is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none. Now will I. My lord Higlac might think less of me if I let my sword go where my feet were afraid to, if I hid behind some broad linden shield: my hands alone shall fight for me, struggle for life against the monster. Third, the typical youth likes to brag about what they have done. Beowulf shows this third trait when he brags to Hrothgar about how he swam all the way over and killed all the monsters in the ocean.

This is seen when Beowulf says, I swam in the Blackness of night, hunting monsters out of the ocean, and killing them one by one; death was my errand and the fate they had earned. I have shown you how the battle with Grendel represents the youth of Beowulf’s life. First, the battle with Grendel’s mother represents the adult stage of Beowulfs life. As adults get older they are less daring and more defensive. Beowulf shows this trait when he fights mail armor and a sword.

This is seen when he goes to the lake where the monsters mother has her underwater lair. Then fully armored, he makes a heroic dive to the depth of the watery Hell. Second, as adults get older they are less daring and wait for the ballte to come to them. Instead of going to Hrothgar and asking to fight for him he waits and lets Hrothgar ask him. This is seen when Beowulf is awakened and called for again. I have shown you how the battle with Grendel s mother represents the adult stage of Beowulf’s life.

Beowulf

The strength of his rational mind is not diminishing the pains of his emotions. On the
contrary, the speaker is losing his sanity as time progresses. In the past, perhaps, the
speaker’s rational thought processes allowed him to cope with failed romances. However,
in the presence of this love for his dark mistress, all his logical mental abilities are
overpowered. His rational mind, which he depends on for truth and sanity, has left him in
the face of love. The torment of love has made it impossible for the speaker to make
truthful, objective observations about his world (“Companion to” 43). In this poem,
Shakespeare claims that it is love, not reason, that shapes one’s perception of the world,
for one’s mind, the ideal and rational judgment-maker, is subject to and overwhelmed by
the whims of emotion (“Companion to” 44). At the beginning of Sonnet 147, the speaker’s
love is described as a fever, but as the sonnet continues, the effects of love intensify.


Towards the end of the poem, love has completely overwhelmed his mind, inducing him to
become “frantic-mad (Line 10).” He continues, “My thoughts and my discourse as mad
men’s are, /At random from the truth vainly expressed (Lines 10 and 11).” The language
Shakespeare chooses further emphasizes the crazed effect love has had on the speaker’s
mind (Rowse, A Biography 72). The word “discourse”, for instance, derives from Latin,
meaning “to run about.” The use of this word creates a clear image of a mad man running
wild and uncontrolled. This love not only makes him go insane, it also blinds him from the
truth (Rowse, A Biography, 74). He says, “For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee
bright, /Who art as black as hell, as dark as night (Lines 13 and 14) .” The speaker’s
logical mind knows that his woman is evil, yet his love for her blinds him and he sees her
as beautiful.
Love, then, is, for Shakespeare, a force that operates within several different
contexts. As such, love has a multi-faceted definition, which yields to a multi-faceted
identity. Shakespeare defines love in three different ways.
First, love can be seen as an internal force fighting against other internal forces, as we see
in Sonnet 147, where the speaker’s inner turmoil stems from the battle of his love against
his reason within himself. Second, Shakespeare epics love as an internal force which
battles external forces, such as social pressures. Finally, Shakespeare portrays love on an
even larger scale, where Love is an external power that, independent of any individual,
struggles against and then defeats Time, another external entity (Booth 14). Clearly, if
love is an overwhelming, forceful entity that defeats time, death, social pressures, and
reason, then love is no longer simply an internalized emotion; it is also an externalized
power which can exist independent of human beings (Booth 22). Sonnet 147 deals with
love as an internal agony where there is no mention of outside forces at play. This is a
personal poem where Shakespeare uses the metaphor of disease and illness to represent
the obsessive love which has taken over his speaker’s senses (“The Works” 119) . The
speaker describes an internal battle where his mind is being devoured by his crazed
sickness, love. Both his love and his reason though, are internalized, sparring forces. In
contrast to poem 147, Sonnet 130 describes the experiences of a man’s struggle against
external, social factors, such as his culture’s romantic ideal for one’s beloved. Here, the
speaker’s love is an internal force which overcomes external factors, as the speaker uses
love as a justification for his adoring relationship with a woman (“The Works” 134). In
Sonnet 116, Shakespeare goes one step further, and depicts two external forces, Love and

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Beowulf

Beowulf Timeless Heroes Beowulf was written in the eighth century by an unknown author. The story is centered on Beowulf, the main character, who is able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself. He encounters hideous monsters but never fears the threat of death. Beowulf is the ultimate hero who risks his life countless times for immortal glory and for the good of others. Another fictional hero who possessed these qualities is He-Man, a nineteen eighties cartoon super hero.

Their backgrounds, their trusted friends, and their super human strength make them epic heroes of their time. The quality that makes them heroes is the deep respect and responsibility he had for his people. His grand father King Hrethel raised Beowulf. Beowulf matured according to the appropriate expectations of royalty. His maturity drove him to test his strengths and abilities to the limit.

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He had to prove to himself and others that he is of heroic success. Beowulf goes to Denmark to prove his heroism. Like Beowulf, He-Man came from a royal family. When He-Man was not of super natural strength, he was known as Prince Adam of Eternia. He too had royal respect and responsibilities for his kingdom.

When Prince Adam turns into He-Man, he would have incredible strength that would help him defend his universe. Both heroes take on the responsibility of fighting for the good of the people. Heroes at times may need a little help. In Beowulf’s case, he used an aid of a sword to help defeat Grendel’s mother. In the battle of the dragon, Wiglaf along with other thanes try to help Beowulf. However when the fight seems to turn against Beowulf, all of the thanes fled except for Wiglaf.

In the poem, Wiglaf was more than just someone helping Beowulf, he wholeheartedly demonstrated his loyalty for his lord and was willing to sacrifice his life for him. For He-Man, he used his magical sword to help him throughout all of his battles. But his most trusted friend and pet was Battle Cat. Battle Cat was a huge muscular cat with a saddle upon him that He-Man can ride on. Battle Cat stood by He-Man in every battle.

Their trusty swords and their faithful companions helped both heroes conquer their enemies. The most overwhelming proof that Beowulf and He-Man have in common in is their superhuman attributes. Beowulf battles Grendel, with no armor and no sword. With his sheer heroic strength, he is able to rip and tear Grendel’s arm off his socket. Then Beowulf swims down to fight Grendel’s mother.

Being under water for so long is evidence that he is supernatural. An ordinary man can not hold his breath for more than a minute, let alone an entire day. He-Man has many superhuman qualities as well. In every episode, He-Man would use his strength, speed, and magical powers to sabotage the evil nemesis Skeletor’s plot to conquer Eternia. Both Beowulf and He-Man used superior and super natural strength against their enemies that contributed to their success. Whether the hero was from an eight century epic poem or a nineteen eighties cartoon series, both had similar traits of upbringings and stature. They set a noble example of relying on the necessity of brotherhood and friendship.

Their bravery and strengths surpassed that of mortal men. Their unselfish loyalty makes them revered by all. Beowulf and He-Man are prime examples of epic heroes. Poetry.

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