Beowulf Chapter 14 Analysis

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Verses 47–52 of chapter 14 were a series of positive evaluative statements. In fact, this section summarized all of Saul’s accomplishments, signaling the end of the monarch’s active career and immediately preceded notice of his death. Verse 52 described Saul’s reign as having been characterized by war, however, once again a favorable evaluation was provided; Saul seemed to have made an army by hand selecting “valiant men.”

There does not seem to be a setting, rather an occasion that gave rise to a problem. Therefore, verse 1 of chapter 15 was labeled setting since a subject followed a wayyomer, thereby providing background information. Samuel proposed that Saul “utterly” destroy Amalek. Having summoned all the people together, Saul set
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At first, it seemed as though Saul did well, in reality he failed to completely destroy the Amelekites. Through a series of questions, counterquestion, and answers, Saul finally came to realize his sin—he feared the people rather than God. The agent who brought about resolution in this section is Samuel, who brutally destroyed Agag. Special significance should be given to the final outcome—The Lord regretted making Saul king (v. 35).

The author emphasized the fact that the Lord regretted making Saul king. Not only is it stated twice, but it also occurred in two prominent roles according to semantic structure, the outcome and the final outcome. As the section closes, Samuel and Saul never meet again, leaving the reader to wonder, “Whom will Samuel appoint next?” It could be assumed that the author wanted to emphasize the fact that the king must follow the commands of the Lord, or the Lord would reject him.


The book of 1 Samuel should rightly be considered a literary masterpiece. The final editor complied various sources together to communicate a message. With an understanding that words do not only mean something, but do something as well, one must then consider, “What did the author intend to communicate?” In other words, “what did the writer want the reader(s) to

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