Beowulf 's The Buried Giant And Seamus Heaney 's Translation Of Beowulf

1219 Words Sep 19th, 2016 5 Pages
The idea of revenge is a powerful one, sfor it requires extreme motivation to go to the end of one’s lengths to deliver harm to another. However, in both Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant and Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf, the theme of exacting retribution on wrongdoers plays major roles in the storyline. For instance, the entirety of The Buried Giant’s plot is reliant upon Wistan’s deep-seated hatred towards the Britons. An atrocious genocide from the past drives him single-mindedly to slay the dragon Querig, with no thoughts but those of reprisal against the Britons. Meanwhile, in Beowulf, vengeance also acts as the motivating factor for several characters, including Beowulf himself, Grendel, and Grendel’s mother. Initially, Grendel attacks Heorot and kills many a man, but in return, Beowulf avenges the Heorots by slaying Grendel with his bare hands. However, this brings upon the Heorots a fury from Grendel’s mother, a terrible monster that vows to recompense the loss of her only son. Beowulf seems to appreciate the recurring vengefulness present in the two novels and claims, “It is always better/ to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning” (Heaney 1384-1385). These are the words of a hero, which is a characteristic Beowulf shares with Wistan: men admired and remembered for their courage. Hence, the novels portray a unique relationship between vengeance and heroism: both protagonists are motivated to avenge their comrades by a remembrance as a hero. Wistan,…

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