• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Old English epic poem Beowulf demonstrates the Anglo-Saxon ideal of leadership as personified in a legendary hero,

Extracts from this document...


Patel Bhavika Patel English Literature Mrs. White 6-16-08 Beowulf Research Beowulf: Hero, Monster, Warrior, and King Intentionally exposing himself to danger when the normal human response would be to desire security and endurance, the hero?s significant mystery is that he chooses to behave as though he is immortal (Hanning 9). A hero sacrifices himself for others, including strangers (Napierkowski 514). A successful hero usually receives glory for his triumph of will over the awareness of humanity and the nature for survival. The recognition by others shows that there is something of the divine about the hero (Hanning 9) which makes him an example for his followers and receives much of his influence by personifying the merits to which both he and his followers are committed (Napierkowski 503). The attributes of the heroic are strength, power, expressiveness, and wisdom (514) and they are enthusiastically recognized as a distinction to the evils they oppose. ?The heroic ideal is one in which the leader is defined by his ability to live in concord with both the laws and righteous norms of society, to overcome antagonism, and to demonstrate the attainment of virtue? (503). ...read more.


Grendel not for his own glory but ?to heighten Hylgelac?s fame? (435). Good warriors are rewarded with God-given goods by their kings for their merit and worthiness. Good warriors are greatly respected by the kingdom and the warrior society (Napierkowski 506). In a warrior society, the relationship between good warriors is of deep significance (Greenblatt 27-28). A good warrior would not engage in thoughtless bloodshed because the meaningless killing of one?s own blood is the ultimate unthinkable with the warrior (Napierkowski 507). ?If one of his kinsmen had been slain, a warrior had a moral responsibility either to kill the slayer or to exact the payment of man-price in compensation. The failure to take revenge or to exact compensation is considered disgraceful.? In the Old English epic poem Beowulf, ?Hrothgar?s torture over the murders committed by the ?greedy and grim? (122) Grendel is not only for the loss of his good warriors but also for the shame of his inability either to kill Grendel or to exact a ?death-price? from the killer.? When the ?monstrous hell-bride? (1259), Grendel?s mother, beheads Hrothgar?s highest placed advisor, Aeschere, Hrothgar is terrified by the revenge killing of his old friend (Greenblatt 28). ...read more.


She tells him that he is ?Such a strong man with the strength of a king, the king you will one day become.? Soon Beowulf?s arrogance and bravery compels him to generate erroneous decisions. Subsequent to Beowulf lies about Grendel?s mother?s death, Hrothgar declares Beowulf his successor and commits suicide, leaving his kingdom and his young beautiful queen as Beowulf?s reward and responsibility (Zemeckis). Several years later, even though he became the king by wicked motivation, the aged Beowulf still has the good warrior attitude searching for a line of attacks to be a hero again. When the dragon, his sinful son, attacks his kingdom, Beowulf prepares to fight the battle, showing that he, in spite of everything, has the good warrior manner. He ignores the fact that a king should by no means openly fight in a battle and tries to kill the dragon and succeeds; however, he dies by his corrupt son. Beowulf?s death is mourned like every good king?s and good warrior?s. Both in the poem and the film, Beowulf portrays a better warrior than a king due to his faithful warrior characteristics (Zemeckis). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Poetry Anthology with commentaries

    How I admire the Romans --- Aqeducts, the Baths of Caracella, the eagle nose! The body is a Roman thing. It has shut its mouth on the stone pill of repose. It is a statue the orderlies are wheeling off.

  2. Irony of madness and wisdom in King Lear

    In Act 1, Cordelia's refusal to comply with Lear's "test of affection" is one of these examples. (Class I have a question for you: How many of you think Cordelia should have lied to Lear to obtain the inheritance? How many of you think her actions were wise when sticking to her values and thinking of the bigger picture?)

  1. Extended Essay - A Dream Deferred Both Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby and ...

    [He] was brought up in America but educated at Oxford... [His] family all died and [he] came into a good deal of money... After that [he] lived like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe- Paris, Venice, Rome- collecting jewels, chiefly rubies, hunting big game, painting a little,

  2. IB English Oral

    She is also strong enough to resist the beatings that she receives from Joe and she manages to pass the intense trial she is put in for the death of Tea Cake. Daisy, on the other hand, is not as strong willed and determined as Janie.

  1. Child and Insect by Robert Druce is an exceptional poem capturing the childlike approach ...

    There is here on another shift in the child?s emotion, a shift from the second section of sadness, to a third section of guilt. The most outstanding literary feature is Druce?s use of enjambment in the isolation of ?throbs?. This isolation highlights the word and its connotations; the after pain, the reminder.

  2. Racism in African-American Poetry | Poetry Anthology Project

    The poem is ended with a metaphor that Love is a shadow?a naked one, on a gnarled and naked tree. Religion is an evident symbol in the poem. In the fourth line, the reason being the splitting of the word ?crossroads? into ?cross roads? may be to achieve allusion or reference to Jesus? cross.

  1. Moods, colors and people of the deep blue sea are portrayed in The Sound ...

    ?Were you at sea, aboard ship, and Poseidon blew up a dire wind and foundering waves?(l.123,b.XXIV) 271. ?In some sea- dingle fish have picked his bones, or else he made the vultures and wild beasts a trove ashore!?(l.319,b.XXIV) 272. ?Odysseus, master of land and sea ways, command yourself.?(l.606,b.XXIV) 1.

  2. The Old Man and the Sea Essay. In Santiago, the central character of ...

    But they went through this fiction every day. There was no pot of yellow rice and fish and the boy knew this too." This routine is a strong example of Santiago's honor as he is not embarrassed by who or what he is, but looks at every trial through an

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work