Beowulf themes and quotes

The Mead-Hall The poem contains two examples of mead-halls: The code is also often in tension with the values of medieval Christianity.

Thus individual actions can be seen only as either conforming to or violating the code. Though these two outlooks are somewhat oppositional, each character acts as society dictates he should given his particular Beowulf themes and quotes in society.

Like the knights of Arthurian legend, whose stories would replace the Norse tales as favorite readings among English audiences within a century after the surviving version of Beowulf was transcribed, Beowulf is the model Christian hero.

Historically, the mead-hall represented a safe haven for warriors returning from battle, a small zone of refuge within a dangerous and precarious external world that continuously offered the threat of attack by neighboring peoples.

Others, among them the distinguished medieval scholar and fantasy novelist J. Characters are constantly identified as the son, wife, or daughter of a particular man, and as members of this or that tribe.

When, in the war between the Danes and the Frisians, both her Danish brother and her Frisian son are killed, Hildeburh is left doubly grieved. The hero of the poem is venerated not simply for his bravery, but also for his concern for those whose welfare has been entrusted to him.

At three points in the narrative, the stories of Norse rulers and fighting men are highlighted: The monsters in the poem are clearly embodiments of evil forces that must be overcome for society to be safe and prosperous; the hero who takes on the quest of freeing the land from such monsters fights as the representative of good.

Suffice it to say…. While it would be unwise to make specific links between Beowulf and Christ, there is one parallel that can be seen in the poem; both are aware of their mission to take responsibility for and act with love toward their fellow men and women. It also holds that he must provide them with protection and the sanctuary of a lavish mead-hall.

From a broader perspective, Beowulf itself contributes to the tradition of oral celebration of cultural heroes. For example, Shield Sheafson, the legendary originator of the Danish royal line, was orphaned; because he was in a sense fatherless, valiant deeds were the only means by which he could construct an identity for himself.

Beowulf Themes

But as the story of Beowulf unfolds, it becomes clear that while good kings and warriors share some similar traits, such as courage, loyalty, selflessness, and might in battle, the values of a good warrior and a good king do not overlap in other fundamental ways.

In several ways the poem presents a value system consistent with Christian principles that would have resonated with a medieval audience that saw personal bravery and combat in service to kingdom and church as noble. Yet the quest for fame can lead to harm in two very different ways.

Indeed, in a culture that has little interaction with writing, only the spoken word can allow individuals to learn about others and make their own stories known. Throughout the narrative, he measures his success by his ability to make life better for those he serves.

All people, even heroes, have to face the inevitable fact that death awaits them at the time God has chosen to call them. These repetitions emphasize the continuity of the world and show that events are in many ways just variations of previous events, proceeding in endless procession like the… Christianity and Paganism Because of its complicated origin, Beowulf has elements of both pagan Germanic culture and Christianity.

The audiences that would have listened to the poem in the eleventh century would have accepted the notion that violent behavior was compatible with Christian principles.Discussion of themes and motifs in Anonymous, Unknown's Beowulf.

eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of. Here are examples of some of the most famous quotes from will help you gain a deeper understanding of this great epic poem. Beowulf was written in Britain but is set in Scandinavia, and is known only from a single manuscript which dates from close to AD It is the oldest surviving epic poem in British literature.

(Click the themes infographic to download.) In many ways, Beowulf is the simplest kind of epic there is. It's about the conflict between a courageous, mighty, loyal. Themes Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.

The Importance of Establishing Identity.

As Beowulf is essentially a record of heroic deeds, the concept of identity—of which the two principal components are ancestral heritage and individual reputation—is clearly central to the poem. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Beowulf, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Family and Tribe In Beowulf (and in the medieval Germanic culture that produced Beowulf), family. Themes ; Beowulf / Themes ; Beowulf Quotes.

See more famous quotes from literature. BACK; NEXT ; Find the perfect quote to float your boat. Shmoop breaks down key quotations from Beowulf. Good vs. Evil Quotes. In the end each clan on the outlying coasts beyond the whale-road had to yield to him and began to pay tribute.

That was .

Beowulf themes and quotes
Rated 4/5 based on 8 review