Analysis Of Beowulf: The Demise Of A Hero In The Anglo-Saxon Culture

1632 Words 7 Pages
Yolanda Kelly
British Literature
October 5, 2015

Beowulf: The Demise of a Hero in the Anglo-Saxon Culture
In the epic poem, "Beowulf" fought many monsters. Although Beowulf probably fought these monsters to build a legacy for himself, and he did physically have to fight the monster in the poem; the monster he is said to have really fought is himself. There are many demerits and merits to this statement as well as many pros and cons. Many people consider the monster Beowulf fought to be his inner self; his thoughts, his attitude, his personality, and even his entire demeanor. Not only is who he fought debated, but his heroic status as well based upon his Wiglaf 's evaluation of him and other passages in the poem. I think the monster he had
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A legacy is not something you have to tell people about. The people will do it for you; they will already know who you are with no introduction. When Hrothgar responds to his introduction he says nothing about his deeds, but of his fathers; "Your father struck up the greatest of feuds when he killed Heatholaf by his own hand among the Wylfings (459-461)." This makes Beowulf even more eager to build a legacy of his own which explains why he is so eager to fight the dragon alone. His mind was so set on fame and legacy that he disregarded the other key factor of Anglo-Saxon culture, community. He could either be a great king or a great warrior, but not both. Within, Beowulf had to make this decision. He struggled with how can I leave a name, how can I be talked about for years to come. He had to decide would the best way to leave a legacy be to fight the dragon or be a good leader to his people. There are many pros and cons to the statement Beowulf fought a monster who is himself. To be a good king, you must first know yourself, fighting a battle within is a way to figure yourself out. This is a pro to the statement. In contrast, he could lose that battle, which he did. This shows a con to the statement. Beowulf fought Grendel to prove to himself that he could, he did not have to. Line 1441 says, "Beowulf geared up in the warrior 's clothing, cared not for his life." Not only did he not care for his life, but for the rest of the Geats lives as well. This again shows him being selfish and fighting the battle

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