He builds a exquisite mead-corridor, referred to as Heorot, wherein his warriors can accumulate to drink, receive items from their lord, and listen to testimonies sung by means of the scops, or bards. Grendel terrorizes the Danes each night time, killing them and defeating their efforts to combat back. The Danes suffer many years of worry, chance, and loss of life on the fingers of Grendel. Beowulf responds with a conceited description of a number of his past accomplishments.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The Importance of Establishing Identity As Beowulf is essentially a record of heroic deeds, the concept of identity—of which the two principal components are ancestral heritage and individual reputation—is clearly central to the poem.
Characters in the poem are unable to talk about their identity or even introduce themselves without referring to family lineage.
Characters take pride in ancestors who have acted valiantly, and they attempt to live up to the same standards as those ancestors. For example, Shield Sheafson, the legendary originator of the Danish royal line, was orphaned; because he was in a sense fatherless, valiant deeds were the only means by which he could construct an identity for himself.
Tensions Between the Heroic Code and Other Value Systems Much of Beowulf is devoted to articulating and illustrating the Germanic heroic code, which values strength, courage, and loyalty in warriors; hospitality, generosity, and political skill in kings; ceremoniousness in women; and good reputation in all people.
Traditional and much respected, this code is vital to warrior societies as a means of understanding their relationships to the world and the menaces lurking beyond their boundaries. Thus individual actions can be seen only as either conforming to or violating the code.
The poem contains several stories that concern divided loyalties, situations for which the code offers no practical guidance about how to act. For example, the poet relates that the Danish Hildeburh marries the Frisian king.
When, in the war between the Danes and the Frisians, both her Danish brother and her Frisian son are killed, Hildeburh is left doubly grieved. The code is also often in tension with the values of medieval Christianity. While the code maintains that honor is gained during life through deeds, Christianity asserts that glory lies in the afterlife.
Throughout the poem, the poet strains to accommodate these two sets of values.
Though he is Christian, he cannot and does not seem to want to deny the fundamental pagan values of the story. His transition demonstrates that a differing set of values accompanies each of his two roles.
The difference between these two sets of values manifests itself early on in the outlooks of Beowulf and King Hrothgar. Whereas the youthful Beowulf, having nothing to lose, desires personal glory, the aged Hrothgar, having much to lose, seeks protection for his people.
Though these two outlooks are somewhat oppositional, each character acts as society dictates he should given his particular role in society.
The heroic code requires that a king reward the loyal service of his warriors with gifts and praise.
It also holds that he must provide them with protection and the sanctuary of a lavish mead-hall.There is a mixture of religions in Beowulf because it was written down by Christian Anglo-Saxons, but it is about _____ Scandinavians. Pagan Definition: the word used to describe poets in Old English poetry.
Anglo-Saxon Literature and The Epic Stories were told orally in poem or song form (most people could not read or write) Stories provided moral instruction Anglo-Saxons spoke “Old English” Epic Poetry was one of the most common genres of literature during the period.
Beowulf was the most famous story to come out of the Anglo-Saxon era. Anglo-Saxon Belief In Fate And Christianity. as well as the belief in fate’s unknown and often grim path. For example, the epic poem, Beowulf, declares, “ Fate will unwind as it must!” (line ).
the Anglo-Saxons hold Christianity with such high repute because it is the orthodox set of morals that these barbaric war-lords and. Beowulf Beowulf is an epic. The poem begins In Media Res, or “in the middle” of the action, common for epic poetry of the Anglo-Saxon era.
Beowulf: Anglo-Saxon Overview. No description by Literature such as epic poems show the influence of Christianity and pagan beliefs such as the freedom of decision making and fate handling matters of life and death they injected Christian ideas and morals in to these stories when the recorded them.
John Gardner's Grendel is a retelling of the first part of the Anglo-Saxon epic, Beowulf, with an important difference. In Grendel, the monster gets to tell the story. Because this is a retelling, however, Gardner assumes that his reader is familiar with the story of Beowulf.