Beowulf Heroic Code, Holt & Tom, Geatish warrior
Holt & Tom (26) claim that one of the main critical agreements is that Beowulf is a heroic poem from which there is the emergence of the great Geatish warrior as an embodiment of the Germanic heroism characteristics. Beowulf is always on toes to pull out extraordinary courage and strength in the enemy's face. He is proud of his deeds that have seen him get the fame. According to Drout (150), he fulfils his role both as a generous protector of his warriors and as a loyal supporter of his king. These traits may occasionally be at odds to incorporate a Christian element, but the heroic values are easily realized in the poem. This essay does not try to criticize the heroic status of Beowulf, but rather its purpose is to provide a viable interpretation of the poem in reference to the necessary limitations of human understanding of a hero.
Regarding how the values are projected, I will start by further analyzing on the values and how they are projected onto Beowulf. More attention will be put in analyzing where the gaps can be identified inside that idealized cluster of virtues. It is important to note the poet's suggestion that in the incidence of his fight with Grendel's mother, Beowulf seem to feel fear for his life. We are well conversant that a Germanic hero should observe the value of military honor over anything else. However, this is arguable that symptoms like this of occasional weakness should bear upon the human dimension character. In reference to Beowulf's potential defects, I will concentrate on lack of judgment. In the final section, this essay will show how the fatal conclusion of the poem has relation to Beowulfs inability to come into terms with human condition intricacies as well as to identify the unstable nature of the heroic world underlying forces and the position he is expected to occupy within it. The hero seems to place his position as king of the people of Geat on the same level as God's rule over mankind.
[...] Holt, Tom. Who's Afraid of Beowulf?New York: Ace Books, (1991): 24-79. Print. Drout, Michael D. C . Spliced Old English Quotation In” Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics"." Tolkien Studies 3.1 (2006): 149-152. Print. [...]
[...] The Geatish king, in his speech, reveals it all when he says “I have ruled over this people fifty winters; there was not one of the kings of neighbouring tribes who dared encounter me with weapons, or could weigh me down with fear” (157).The social groups that appear in the final parts of the poem are comprised of the Geats whole generations who have grown up unacquainted with the reality of violence in the Germanic world. At this moment, the dragon appears and shed light on the nature of the situation that seems abnormal. As soon as this news reaches Beowulf, he recalls his past incidence as a hero and decides to attack the dragon single-handedly. The dragon has come to menace the Geats' security and peace, and it is the duty of the King to come up with interventions to the problems in his kingdom. [...]
[...] The hero moreover seems to be mean to share his success with anyone not even God. Beowulf often tries to bridge the gap between divine power and human when he is not referring to God. The hero seems to place his position as king of the people of Geat on the same level as God's rule over mankind. We however should not accuse Beowulf of hubris because it is partial. Beowulf's misconstrues people's relationship with divinity and hence it can be argued that not an essential matter regarding pride but a matter of misjudgment. [...]
[...] The impression that one gets from reading and understanding the poem is that Beowulf is a hero regardless of the several shortcomings. It is important to put into consideration the character's weaknesses than just focusing on the heroic attributes to enrich our experience concerning the work as a whole. It is possible to concentrate on the weaker aspects of the interpretations that seem to be more traditional since they do not take into account the King Beowulf's difficulty to remain relevant with the reality. Works Cited Tolkien, J R. [...]
[...] The poet takes pain to portray the performance of Beowulf as the King into the Germanic leadership context. Digressions are scattered with treachery examples that are presented as the usual avenues of satisfying the hunger of power. Beowulf seems not be fond of power as revealed when he turns down Hygd's offer to succeed the throne after the death of Hygelac (140). The disturbing circumstances eventually lead him to rule over the people of Geat, but his policy is shaped by his willingness to answer to the people's interests. Beowulf and Heremod represent the opposite poles. [...]
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