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A lesson on Beowulf

Fatima Shorten

on 6 November 2014

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Transcript of Beowulf


The Plot Thickens...
1. Denmark and the Geatland
2.Grendel Attack
3.Beowulf encounter with Evil
4.Beowulf Glorious Victory
5. In the end...
Honor and The Heroic Code
List of Admirable Behavior
Good Deeds/Honor (909)
Being a Warrior (Various)
Glory of Winning/Pride (908)
Taking treasure and having Gold shows that you have done admirable behavior/though having glory is better.
High rank
Being Triumphant (909)
Good Ruler/Being Wise (940)
Hrothgar Speech (930)
Beowulfs Speech (931)

Religion in the Heroic Code
Seeking Gods Help (911)

Being A Warrior
Christian Religion
Some of the views that are portrayed within Beowulf are as follows:
That man survives only through the protection of God.
That all earthly gifts flow from God.
That the proper bearing of man is to be humble and unselfish.
However, there is also a strong sense of heroic pride within Beowulf which is at times in direct conflict with these christian values.
Pride v.s. Humility
Sacrifice v.s. Selfishness
The Heroic Age 300-700 A.D.
5th or 6th century Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden).
Anglo-Saxons: Their society and culture were deeply structured around themes of brotherhood and kinship.
Language: Anglo-Saxon (Old English)
Narrator: A christian narrator telling a story of pagan times.

Having Honor For the Religion
Beowulf praises a god throughout the Epic.
Heavenly Shepard and Lord of Ages. (911)
God of Majesty (912)
God's Will Prevails (913)
Earth or under Heaven (918)
The monsters
The Mother
In the Poem, she is lacks description but she is a hag like creature that is grotesque.

She dies after Beowulf, goes to her underwater cave to kill her after she kills his friend. Thats when he actually gets the head of Grendel.

Another translation she is only descibed as a warrior woman.
Movie vs Poem

In the book Beowulf goes back to (the land of the Geat's) Geatland to become king of his uncles kingdom. In the movie he stays in (the land of the Danes) Denmark and becomes king of Hrothgar's kingdom.
Similarities of Cain and Grendel
Grendel and his mother are both descendants of Cain.
Cain is used metaphorically during the period to represent chaos and the presence of evil. In the bible, Cain kills his brother, Abel, because of jealousy and is therefore punished and banished from the Garden of Eden by God. To the Anglo-Saxons, the worst crime a person can commit is the crime of fratricide, the killing of one's own brother. Their society and culture was deeply structured around themes of brotherhood and kinship.
There are many similarities between Grendel and Cain. First, it is stated that after Cain killed his brother, he drinks his blood. (Williams, 45) This is typically something that Grendel does after he kills his victims. Cain and his descendants were believed to have magical power, such as being able to shift their shapes and to have bright shining eyes. Grendel also has these magical powers. He is able to cast a spell on the warriors' swords, so that they cannot harm him.

both outcasts of society and have to roam in the shadows. They are outside looking inside. They are outside threats to the order of society as shown by Grendel with the Danes. In Beowulf, the mead hall, Heorot, is the symbol of peace. It is the place where the warriors gather in a spirit of brotherhood and harmony to celebrate. When Grendel is first introduced in the story, the audience is told that he is enraged at the festivities and the sound of laughter that he is hearing while he is alone in his mere.
Therefore, Grendel represents "a monstrous outsider enraged by the joy of brotherhood and society from which he is forever banished. His enmity towards Heorot is grounded solely in this moral perversion, which is another example of the hatred of the good simply because it is good." (Williams, 45.) Grendel exhibits his envy towards the warriors as Cain did to his brother, Abel, so long ago.
: Beowulf is an epic full of internal and external conflict . His pride is always fighting his social responsibility as a human but also as a hero.
: Beowulf is a heroic epic filed with glory and celebrations as well as fighting evil for the glory of good. Beowulf has his heroic journey which is a lot like like the Odyssey and Gilgamesh in terms of their heroic journey and their heroic deeds. I believe that the epic poem Beowulf is still relevant today because of the epic heroism and the links it has with the heroic journey as well as it being a good read.
- The character that I spent the most time with is Grendel is a character that can represent so many things all at the same time. He can represent sin. He can be other. He can be Cain. Or you could parallel him to Beowulf himself. But to close I would say that Beowulf is worth the read, and it has all the classic markers of the epic poem and that why i believe that's its been preserved throughout the ages and will probably continue to be.
Being a warrior is definitely a big honor, a sign of being a hero, and as such is looked at as almost being the same as royalty.
Having swords and armor as a token of honor is something that is presented among warriors. Also at celebrations people will sing and praise warriors.(913) A warrior will risk his life for the glory of battle and for honor.
Final Thoughts
Who is the Author?

There is no one form of paganism
They have no holy book such as the christians do.
There is no such believe that there is a Satan or Lucifer, but there is the belief of bad energy.
There is practice of magic,and worship
They worship in temples but do not have rules of worship such as in the christian religion.
In the poem Beowulf kills Grendel's mom. In the movie they make love and have a human beast like creature son (a dragon as a son). Although, in the film Beowulf returns and says he kills her so I guess one could argue it stays in line with the poem that way. In the book she could be still alive and they do the same thing but it doesn't say so we will never know.
Example of Beowulf being Heroic in a movie clip
During the time Beowulf would have been written being a hero is determined by your rank, fame, and status. Having stories and songs written about you and told at festivals and mead halls is what a hero wants.
G: rendel

monster, descendent of Cain.He hates brotherhood and happiness.

Other reading He's "other". A castoff of society. A warrior that takes joy in killing. He's weak. He attacks at night. He has envy of brotherhood and society that he was banished from.

Cain drinks blood of brother after killing and so does Grendel

Death: arm is ripped of by Beowulf. bleeds to death in his underwater cave with his mother.
"Never have I seen a mightier man-at-arms on this earth than the one standing here" (896)
Beowulf = Hrothgar + Wiglaf

"And now, although he wanted this challenge to be one he'd face by himself alone... now the day has come when this lord we serve needs sound men to give him their support" (949)
It is always better to avenge dear ones than to indulge in the mourning. For every one of us, living in this world means waiting for our end" (922)

Learn about Beowulf for a World Literature Course

By Fatima "Ashley" Shorten
Thank You
This is a link to the movie for a comparison
Full transcript