Beowulf Literary Analysis.docx - Michael Pernice 300W Dr...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 8 pages.

Michael Pernice 300W Dr. Sarah B Wright April 29, 2020 Beowulf Literary Analysis Beowulf is an Old English epic poem written in the Anglo-Saxon era of England. The epic poem contains elements of Christianity which was inherited from the British. Christian ideals influenced the idea of Anglo-Saxon heroism, its relation to the representation of Anglo- Saxon warrior culture. The masculine economy served to eliminate the need for women to fulfill the peacekeeping role in maegthe by depicting Beowulf as this embodiment of both Anglo-Saxon male and female societal rules. In the Anglo-Saxon period, the themes of heroism and warrior culture are essential to a protagonist’s journey. In Beowulf , the titular character’s journey results in him achieving and embodying the virtues and traits of masculinity while balancing the feminine traits of a peacekeeper. The Anglo-Saxon era in England began approximately in the year 450 A.D., when Britain was invaded by three Germanic tribes: The Angles, the Saxons, and the Jutes. Their language now referred to as Old English, was comprised of native Briton and Germanic tribal tongue mashed together by three different groups of people. Christianity was the religion of, “the Britons, and at the start of the Anglo-Saxon invasion it was suppressed. But, over the following years, these Germanic tribes converted to it. Thus, Christian ideals become popular in Anglo- Saxon literature” (Dogra 79). This conversion of such scale would lead to an influence of Christian theology within Anglo-Saxon literature. The epic poem of Beowulf depicts the adventures of the tragic hero and his victorious battles with Grendel, Grendel’s vengeful mother,
Pernice 2 and a dragon, the battle led to Beowulf’s demise. The traits of Old English poetry and the belief in Christian ideals is represented in the epic poem Beowulf through the protagonist, Beowulf, who portrays the role and journey of a Christian hero. The essence of heroism was a conflict represented in Beowulf . This conflict focused on the two types of heroism that Beowulf embodied, the Christian hero and the Anglo-Saxon warrior culture. He honed these virtues that were represented by Christian ideals and used them to defeat Cain’s lineage, the Grendelkin. Beowulf’s strength and physical appearance are a key factor in his victory: “I have never seen a mightier warrior on earth than is one of you, a man in battledress. Nor have I ever seen, out of all the men on earth, one greater than has come with you; no commoner carries such weapons, unless his appearance, and his beauty, are both lies” (244-251). This gives Beowulf this sense of being bigger than life, someone who should be admired for his unremarkable feats. Especially when, he is depicted to have god-like strength, “this man is their son…a thane, they declared, with the strength of thirty in the grip of each hand. Now Holy God has, in His goodness, guided him here to the West-Danes, to defend us from Grendel” (375-383). The God given strength possessed by Beowulf will enable him to achieve

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture