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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These things are community and legacy, the most important probably being the legacy. The idea of legacy is shown from the opening of the poem. "We have heard of the glory in bygone days of the folks-kings of the spear-Danes how those noble lords did lofty deeds. (Beowulf 1-4)." This line in the prologue of the poem shows that when a king or someone in Anglo-Saxon culture passes, their deeds and everything they did while on earth will still be talked about, their legacy lives on. Line 5 then goes on to discuss some of the things other kings had done. "Often Scyld Scefing seized the mead-benches from many tribes, troops of enemies, stuff fear into earls. Though he first was found a waif, he awaited solace for that – he grew under heaven and prospered in hour until every one of the encircling nations over the whale 's riding had to obey him, grant him tribute. That was a good king (Lines 5-11)" Scyld then had a son, Beowulf, who is not to be confused with the Beowulf who fought Grendel and is being discussed in this paper. Beowulf (Beow) was "renowned, his fame spread wide in Scandinavian lands (Lines 19-20)." This line again discusses what he did during his reign as king. He is well known among the people. The usage of the word fame causes me to think of a …show more content…
This leaves them vulnerable to attack by their enemies. Wiglaf says "Often many earls must suffer misery through the will of one man, as we have now seen" (3077–3078). This quote explains exactly what happened. Because Beowulf looked out for himself and not his people as a whole, they were suffering. If Beowulf would have been a great king rather than a great warrior, listened to his people, and fought the dragon with an army he might still be alive. Wiglaf goes on to say, "We could not persuade our dear prince, shepherd of a kingdom, with any counsel that he should not greet that gold-guardian, let him lie there where he long had been, inhabit dwellings until the end of the world (Line 3081-3084)." All the reasons Beowulf was not a hero or a good king over shined all the reasons he was. His inner struggles and the battle within, in the end, caused him to

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