Theme Of Vengeance In Beowulf

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Often times when someone is wronged, they turn to getting even and taking revenge on them in order to fill some higher feeling that is devoid in their life. In the case of Ishiguru’s The Buried Giant and an Old English epic poem, Beowulf, the theme of vengeance while present in both, functions in different ways. In The Buried Giant, it appears that the Britons and the Saxons want to go to war over a fight that is completely outdated, but is just occurring because it is something that they feel obliged to do, in order to signify a real winner. Although in Beowulf, there are multiple instances of vengeance but all involve a deeper passion and a different requirement, one that holds a sense of pride and accomplishment. In both stories it seems …show more content…
Heroism seems contingent on vengeance in this story because of the obvious presence of an ongoing cycle. This is made evident when Beowulf attacked Grendel for terrorizing Heorot and the Grendel’s mom attacks Beowulf for killing Grendel. Beowulf is well aware of his status as a warrior and plans to maintain it when he exacts revenge on Grendel. This is shown when he says “It is always better / to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning / . . . / When a warrior is gone, [glory] will be his best and only bulwark” (1384–1389). In this specific example, he remarks on how a warrior can only be remembered for their accomplishments in life, and by that he is referring to their body count. One is only able to build their reputation and become well known by through retaliation. Once they become a part of the cycle, their status is solidified; everything is done so that once that pass away, they will go down as one of the greats. For this reason, it is important to Beowulf that he avenges all of the blood that is shed because it would symbolize the act of a true hero and he would receive abundant …show more content…
In the The Buried Giant, the Saxon warriors seek revenge because they want to declare a winner and believe that they are the once who deserve the victory. In Beowulf, he initiated vengeance because his reputation makes it is his duty and upon successful completion, he will receive even more fame and acclamation in addition to what he already has. While both involve the sense of a heroic mentality, the situation in which it occurs in is completely different, along with the purpose of both

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