He is an impressive-looking man. Beowulf is huge and strong. We are soon told that he has the strength of 30 men in his hand-grip. Just as important is the way that the young warrior not much more than 20 years of age carries himself; the Geat has the bearing of a noble leader, a champion, perhaps a prince.
The epic tells the story of a hero, a Scandinavian prince named Beowulf, who rids the Danes of the monster Grendel, a descendent of Cain, and of his exploits fighting Grendel's mother and a Dragon. Throughout the epic, the Anglo-Saxon story teller uses many elements to build a certain depth to the characters.
Many of the characters in Beowulf are, like in most epics, defined by their status. But, in addition to status, the Anglo-Saxon culture also adds an element of honor. To the Anglo-Saxons, a character's importance, as well as their wealth and status, where measured not only in monetary terms, but it was also measured in terms of honor, fame, and accomplishments.
Hrothgar, king of the Danes, is one example of the Anglo-Saxon measurement of importance in Beowulf. In Canto 1 the story teller describes his wealth and importance, not as mounds of gold or jewels, but instead as his ability to "[lead] the Danes to such glory.
Beowulf, the hero-prince, also proves his true wealth and status through his deeds as defender of the Danes. As he fights and defeats Grendel, Beowulf Earns Fame and wealth from his companions, and from the Danes, but more importantly, he earns honor raising him to the level of an archetypal hero.
Grendel, on the other hand, is the total opposite of Beowulf. He has no wealth, no honor, and he in infamous as an evil killer. This lack of wealth and honor defines Grendel as a symbol of evil and corruption.
|Literary Analysis (Beowulf)||See Article History Beowulf, heroic poem, the highest achievement of Old English literature and the earliest European vernacular epic.|
|Analysis of Beowulf||We all know them when we see them. The only question is what makes someone a hero?|
|Keep Exploring Britannica||This involves far more than physical courage. It also means that the warrior must fulfil his obligations to the group of which he is a key member.|
In addition to using Honor and wealth to define a character's character, the story-teller s have incorporated alternating Biblical and Paganistic motifs in the epic-poem. The original Epic was obviously Paganistic due to the time period of it's creation.
But, as time wore on, the rewriting and touching up of the manuscripts by various sources including religious monks, caused the characters to have slight Christian characteristics.
These Christian themes have become very important to the epic to add am element of depth that wouldn't be possible in modern times due to the lost of the Anglo-Saxon culture and beliefs. An example of the Biblical motif in Beowulf is Grendel. Grendel it biblically described as evil in this excerpt: The Almighty drove Those demons out, and their exile was bitter, Shut away from men; they split Into a thousand forms of evil--spirits And feinds, goblins, monsters, giants, A brood forever opposing the Lord's Will, and again and again defeated.
The Biblical reference in the epic has become a modern day archetypal motif, and serves to give the listener an idea of the extent of Grendel's pure evil and gives a logical explanation for Grendel's murderous behavior.
This example, not only shows the evil in Grendel's nature, but also the torture in his heart caused by his Banishment from God. It serves to give the reader an idea of why Grendel would kill the Danes for no reason other than their happiness. Beowulf also has a religious motif to his character.
One example of this is in Canto 6 line in which Hrothgar states, "Our Holy Father had sent [Beowulf] as a sign of His grace, a mark of His favor, to help us defeat Grendel and end that terror.Beowulf: Character Analysis When he arrived at the Danish land, Beowulf was a young man seeking adventure and glory.
Beowulf was distinguished among his people, the Geats, for his bravery. Test your knowledge of Beowulf with our quizzes and study questions, or go further with essays on the context and background and links to the best resources around the web. Beowulf Literary Analysis Looking through the phenomenal piece of writing that is Beowulf, and analysing the characters and events, there is quite a bit of information and evidence that points and leads that religion plays a large role in the entirety of the story.
The story roots into the past where the religion that the Saxons had followed under was mainly pagan, before the Saxons had been converted to Christianity. Beowulf is the greatest of the heroes depicted in the poem not only because he has the greatest prowess in battle.
He also perfectly fulfills his social obligations. He has the virtues of a civilized man, as well as the strength of the warrior.
See a complete list of the characters in Beowulf and in-depth analyses of Beowulf, Grendel, Hrothgar, Unferth, and Wiglaf. Beowulf: "The hero of all heroes," Beowulf, strong and courageous, is the prince of Geats. Once he makes a vow, he stands by his word, no matter what the cost, even if it takes his life.