Beowulf, By Burton Raffel And Seamus Heaney Essay

1106 Words Nov 9th, 2015 5 Pages
“Beowulf”, translated by Burton Raffel and Seamus Heaney, is an epic poem from the 700’s AD about the adventures of Beowulf, an ideal Anglo-Saxon hero. The poem goes through Beowulf’s fight with the monster Grendel and his mother and ends with his fight with a dragon and his death. “Beowulf” shows many important values and beliefs of Anglo-Saxon society. The epic poem constantly conveys these values and beliefs throughout Beowulf’s adventures. The Anglo-Saxon values of courage, material wealth as a reflection of character, and family background are evident from the epic poem “Beowulf” through the statements and behaviors of characters and the direct statements by the narrator. Beowulf’s repeated display of courage clearly reveals an important Anglo-Saxon value. Beowulf shows courage when he is trying to convince Hrothgar to let him fight Grendel:

“That I [Beowulf], alone and with the help of my men, May purge all evil from this hall. I have heard, Too, that the monster’s [Grendel] scorn of men Is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none.” (Raffel 25)

Beowulf is truly the ideal Anglo-Saxon hero, being very courageous. Beowulf recognizes how great of an opponent Grendel when he says, “ ‘that the monster’s scorn of men / Is so great that he needs no weapons and fears none’ ” (Raffel 25), but is still able to say that he will go against Grendel. A person who lacks courage would not be able to say they will fight a monster who…

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