The Epic Of Beowulf By William Shakespeare Essay

1458 Words Nov 10th, 2016 6 Pages
The English epic, Beowulf, though believed to be the story of the successes of one hero, really is a testament to the successes of the society that produced the hero. The ideals such as interlacing and comitatus that were so highly regarded by the society were the main factors in the successes of the Anglo Saxon people. The ideal of comitatus that permeates various aspects of Anglo Saxon society is indicative of the society in which a character such as Beowulf would have existed. Comitatus is a mutual relationship in which loyalty and respect carry between a man and his leader. In this bond, a king and his thane must fulfill certain distinct roles. But kings and warriors are not the only ones whose roles play a key part in success. The clear distinction between class and gender throughout the narrative depicts the vital role of each position and how their interlacing creates success for the Anglo Saxons. The role of a king is made clear through the comparison between Hrothgar and Beowulf. Hrothgar, the Danish king, is the antithesis of what a king is meant to be. He is referred to as the “homeland’s guardian” (616) out of irony since he wasn’t able to protect his own people from Grendel the monster. In a culture that glorifies fighting, Hrothgar is weak and does not fight back. This shows the asynchrony between what he does and what is expected of him. His prime role in the work is to emphasize his failures as a king, in order to show Beowulf’s aptitude for leadership.…

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