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Beowulf The Poem the Cid Epic Legends
of King Hrothgar in defeating a man-eating monster, Grendel, who is terrorizing his people and killing his warriors each night. There is, likewise, a similar threat to King Hrothgars people.
in defending his people. It is a story that has its origins in pagan culture, but it was recorded by a Christian scribe (Saupe 97). Therefore there are "overlays" that
text, a supernatural force, and the celebration of the hero. Structurally speaking, an epic is "a long narrative poem on a great and serious subject" (Lucas). A primary epic
pagan elements. The world pictured in Beowulf is dominated by warriors, men who placed their faith primarily in two things -- their leader (their "thane") and in "wyrd" (a
great mead-hall Heorot, which is ruled by Hrothgar. Section VIII of the poem pictures Beowulf addressing the assembly and bragging extravagantly about his own brave, skill and heroism. He says,
story into its form was a Christian; however, it is also offers glimpses into a remote, ancient warrior culture whose values and precepts seem strange to modern sensibilities (Donaldson 31).
existed between a warrior and his "thane," that is, his liege lord. The concept of thane is not precisely synonymous with "king," as the relationship is founded on mutual feelings
are epitomized, as well as how they endure within their most supreme existence, Beowulf also displays various sociological and humanistic tendencies that are not often recognized in the traditional telling.
Aeneas is bound by the heroic values of a warrior class. However, while Aeneas first inclination is to fight the invading Greeks, he is presented with portents and powerful visual
serve the king and save the Danes, who appear to be senselessly slaughtered. He may have been drafted into the contest, but he undertakes the task as his own.
chronicle their initial assessment of one another. The Queen also has her say on the matter. Historically speaking, what these sections serve to do is show the importance of
ago a hero was most likely male and invincible. Heroes were the real deal then. They were strong and manly and although they were allowed to express emotion, they were
is motivated by fame, energized by tempting fate, and as he grows older increasingly conscious of the destiny awaiting all mortals - death. In all works of heroic literature, "The
the "somber grandeur of Beowulf is still capable of stirring the hearts of readers" (31). Although the poem is English in its language and origin, the characters in the
to serve himself. Beowulf seeks fame, glory, treasure, and the immortality of a death in combat to secure his legacy. The Anglo-Saxon poem "Beowulf," which is believed to