Comparing Beowulf, Lanval, And Sir Gawain Essay example

1065 Words Nov 6th, 2015 null Page
What is the importance of genre within poetry? I think through working with genre and some of its symbols, interpreting a piece of literature has a deeper meaning. Comparing and contrasting a piece to each other also brings up similar ideas and reoccurring themes that lead to drawing conclusions about human nature. While working with the poems Beowulf, Lanval, and Sir Gawain within their genres, I find that conditions within societies form a need of a hero figure but that hero varies with values of society and within different times in one’s life as seen with Northrop Frye’s idea of seasons connecting with genre.
Beowulf is the quintessence of an epic poem. Typically in an Epic, it has characteristics of hero-lust or the lust for glory regardless if the price for said glory is death as bold actions are necessary to be a mortal hero. The character of Beowulf seems to be motivated by ideas of glory and fame. This idea would correlate with the impetus for an Epic: to strive for immortality, not just in body, but in name. The Aristocratic Warrior Code is also a great way to understand what motivates Beowulf throughout his adventures, his end goal being to live through his actions or what legacy he had left behind. He achieved this goal as seen in the following: “So the Geat people, his hearth-companions, sorrowed for the lard who had been laid low. They said that of all the kings upon earth he was the man most gracious and fair-minded, kindest to his people and keenest to win…

Related Documents