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The Characteristics of a Hero in the Anglo-Saxon Epic Beowulf



In the Anglo-Saxon composition, Beowulf, brave society is presented in the values that heroes should have as well as is among the most famous styles presented throughout the work. The values that the heroes need to have consist of valor, strength, commitment, and also honor. The writer reveals moments of stress via the retelling of stories where the brave culture is inconsistent to the hero’s actions. The writer offers a character that is meant to be this sign of heroic society by encompassing the qualities of a hero however is flawed and present feelings of pride and also wanting recognition of his success. Unlike several pieces of literary works, Beowulf, maximizes the flawed element of Beowulf as well as uses it to provide a message to the reader that also those of great power as well as standing are still human as well as are not perfect despite how they may provide themselves to society.

Beowulf is classified as an “elegiac legendary”, which means that it is both a long story poem that recounts the tale as well as activities of an epic or historic hero as well as a “lament for something or someone that is irrevocably lost.” (Murton, September 7) Within this rhyme we can see Beowulf shed his feeling of brave values throughout the course of his life. He exists initially as the saving grace to Hrothgar’s kingdom by destroying Grendel that terrorizes the town.( 817) Beowulf is greatly awarded yet is rapidly asked again to save the kingdom.(1380-1382) With each fight and defeat, Beowulf is compensated greater, which inevitably brings about his unquestionable sanctimonious pride. The last battle we see Beowulf, that has by this point grew in years, refusing to permit anybody else to fight the dragon for the pure magnificence of winning.(2510-2515) The shift from brave values to selfishness increases the concern of what the author’s intent in his/her portrayal of Beowulf expected to indicate. It likewise elevates the concern regarding whether or not Beowulf is genuinely a hero.

There are several architectural elements within the literary work. Time is expressed in the literary work through the representation of Beowulf in young and aging. It likewise is broken down into 3 parts, one for each battle he has with each of the beasts. Each beast postures a danger on brave culture and also each successful loss of each beast signifies the reconstruction of society. (Murton, September 7) We see with each battle that the remediation of culture is greater, even in the final battle where Beowulf dies. Is the writer presenting to us the concept that this is ultimately what is finest for the kingdom?

Lines 1758-1784 of Beowulf presents to the viewers the scene in which Hrothgar is discussing with Beowulf the significance of living the brave values. He states, “… beware of that catch/ Pick, dear Beowulf, the lion’s share/ eternal rewards. Do not pave the way to pride.” (1758-1760) In this line, we see Hrothgar cautioning Beowulf of not being prideful, as it is not a brave worth one should have and will eventually lead to his defeat. However, in line 1782, we reviewed Hrothgar contradicting himself, by saying “Take your location, then, with pride and also enjoyment.” Hrothgar had just warned Beowulf to be careful of coming to be as well proud, yet additionally wants Beowulf to participate in a pride as well as enjoyment of celebration of eliminating Grendel as well as his mother? This sends out an extremely complicated and contradictory message to the readers regarding true heroic worths as well as raises question as well as unpredictability in the credibility of Beowulf as a hero in this work. We additionally get the feeling that the writer is foreshadowing of what is ahead for Beowulf, especially in the lines complying with the satisfaction caution. “For a quick while your stamina remains in flower/ But it discolors swiftly; and soon there will certainly follow ailment or the sword to lay you low … As well as fatality will get here.” (1761-1767)

When assessing this passage I located that the author in the first lines of the passage was foreshadowing/ stating the fights in which Beowulf had and also will certainly participate in. “Or a sudden fire or rise of water.”( 1764) This stands for the fight with Grendel’s mother, where Beowulf studies the sea to defeat her. (1430) “Or jabbing blade or javelin from the air.” (1765) This explains the tool that Beowulf utilized to eventually defeat Grendel’s mommy. “Then he saw a blade that boded well … took strong hold of the handle as well as swung … an undaunted strike that bit deep into her neck-bone as well as severed it entirely.” (1557-1568) Lastly, “Or repellent age. You’re puncturing eye/ Will certainly lower as well as dim; and death will show up.”(1765-1766), which mentions Beowulf’s utmost loss of self when he dies.

The author uses imagery within the flow to assist existing Beowulf and also the story to the reader in a detailed way. In the very first line of the flow, we have the writer using the expression, “flower of warriors”. When first reading it I really did not fairly understand the significance of the phrasing to the story of Beowulf. After much time and also contemplating I involved the conclusion that Hrothgar was recommending to Beowulf that life is as well short and that despite he is young now and “in blossom”( 1761) he will certainly likewise discolor swiftly. I likewise detected the imagery of the lines 1763-1767 which depict the things that can bring death. I believe that the author is trying to present 2 choices for fatality in this flow. One is death through battle,” stabbing blade or javelin from the air” (1765) as well as the various other is through age, “or repellant age.”( 1766)

In general, lines 1758-1784 of Beowulf highlight the importance of self-awareness as well as acknowledgement of our imperfections. While we see that Beowulf presented indications of brave values, such as fearlessness, honor, as well as strength, he also experienced a fantastic failure, which was his pride. While it is notable to be prideful in your achievements, one need to not be boastfully prideful, which sadly Beowulf was. He did not recognize his faults but instead used them to his advantage by providing himself better than others as well as one of the most fit to accomplish outcomes. Eventually, Beowulf’s pride was what killed him at the end of the rhyme. It provides the viewers the chance to self-reflect in how we present ourselves not just to the culture we reside in as well as the individuals who we experience, yet additionally to ourselves. Bearing in mind how we act versus who we in fact are, is something that I believe must be eliminated from this passage. Another lesson to be eliminated from this passage is that it is alright to allow others to assist us. Beowulf knowing his age as well as lack of physicality should have enabled among the other men in his kingdom to tackle the dragon or at the very least assist him in the slaying, however instead he did not. (2532-2536) Eventually, this flow of Beowulf shows the importance of cling on your own as well as the worths in which you wish to go after in spite of the lures and stress of the culture in which you stay in. At the end of the day you must answer to yourself as well as hold on your own liable for the method which you are.

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