Comparison between Beowulf and The Wanderer Essay

1420 Words Nov 26th, 2013 6 Pages
Survey of English Literature / Comparison between Beowulf and the Wanderer
10th October, 2013 / Esma Bike Bostancı
BEOWULF AND THE WANDERER
There are many factors to consider in comparing the two poems of the Old English society – Beowulf and The Wanderer. While they have many similarities; they have, within their structure and plot, many differences we can easily find or eventually make out.
When we look at both the poems in terms of their genre; while they are both products of the traditional oral literature of the Anglo-Saxons; Beowulf is more of an epic poem elevated in a heroic style with supernatural events such as the defeating of the dragon Grendel by Beowulf, who is a character of noble birth. Whereas The Wanderer
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The Wanderer even though an exile once had a king and fellow warriors and they too fought battles and celebrated in the Mead Hall – this we make out from the dream of the Wanderer. Another heroic code in the poems would be the loyalty of both the characters; Beowulf is ready when Hrothgar the King calls him to help defeat Grendel and Beowulf accepts without hesitation, this shows the loyalty to the king in return for his generosity. The Wanderer also fights for his king and is loyal to him in return for his generosity, as we, once again, understand from his dream. We can see the effects of the Old English Literature and Society in both the poems, due to the fact that they are oral works told by bards, who memorized these texts with alliterations, kennings and caesuras which can be found within the texts...
The plot and the characters in both the poems are also different and similar in many ways; the character Beowulf in the poem Beowulf is a man with supernatural powers who is very brave and strong because he defeats dragons and so becomes famous, in which he is declared immortal by Hrothgar, thereby strengthening his position in the Mead Hall. Whereas the man in The Wanderer has lost his king, fellow warriors and most importantly his place at the Mead Hall which makes him remorse and relinquished to fight . Despite these different emotions and characteristics, Beowulf and the Wanderer were both warriors. They both

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