Argumentative Essay On Beowulf By Seamus Heaney

1155 Words 5 Pages
In Anglo- Saxon culture, the afterlife is nonexistent. They believe when you die, you die and nothing comes after this world. The only way to live eternally is to be remembered. They believed their success in life would determine the fate of their name after their own death. Beowulf is one of the prime examples of the people who accomplished this. Over 10 centuries later, Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, continues to be taught and read about. Although it may have been changed over time, Beowulf’s name still lives on. Beowulf was set on becoming immortal and it has been shown through the whole story. His main purpose in life was to gain immortality and continue to be talked about. Although he may have missed out on large parts of what people …show more content…
One example of this is when Beowulf is about to face the dragon. He wants to be sure that if he dies, his men will make sure that he is remembered. In his final speech he says, “’I risked my life often when I was young. Now I am old, but as king of the people I shall pursue this fight for the glory of winning, If the evil one will only abandon his earth-fort and face me open’ (Heaney 2510-2515).” Beowulf is reminding them of what all he has done with his life, almost preparing them to start talking about what a great warrior he was and what a great man he is. Again Beowulf talks of his victories when he first appears in Hrothgar’s court. When speaking to Hrothgar he begins by telling him his great feats, “Greetings to Hrothgar. I am Hygelac’s kinsman, one of his hall-troop. When I was younger, I had great triumphs. Then news of Grendel, hard to ignore, reached my home… So every elder and experienced councilman among my people supported my resolve to come here to you, King Hrothgar, because all knew of my awesome strength (407-418).” Beowulf will do anything to gain achievements that can be a topic of his heroism. Beowulf challenged a great swimmer to a swimming match, wearing full armor. Beowulf shows up to the Danes, although the Geats, Beowulf’s tribe, have little relation to the Danes, Beowulf jumps at the opportunity to help them. Beowulf wants nothing …show more content…
Beowulf wanted to be remembered so badly they he would run into many life threatening events without a second thought. Beowulf may not have been a Dane himself but he jumped on the opportunity to help them. The Geats and the Danes, though not enemies, were not the closest of countries. They were separated by the sea and they did not have much in common. They were two separate countries with no relationship. Beowulf had no reason to go help the Danes other than to be remembered by, not just the Geats but the Danes as well. Beowulf did not know what he was up against but still risked his life, and it was all to be remembered. Beowulf goes after Grendel’s mother. When he does this he doesn’t do it just to avenge his soldiers death, he does it as another reason to be immortal. Beowulf knows that he is going to die so he gives his and Hrothgar’s men a long speech again verifying his accomplishments. Beowulf without a thought trudged into the lake knowing that he could die. Beowulf, now very old, hears about the dragon wreaking havoc on his kingdom and he goes after him. He is a king and has soldiers like him who could do it and could possibly have been more successful in

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