His Dane kingdom has been successfully and prosperously created by King Hrothgar. His soldiers would gather for celebrations where they would partake in food, wine, and the king's gifts. The jubilant noises of the Heorot's party, however, enrage Grendel. Grendel is a hideous monster that stalks the Danes at night and occasionally murders them. When Beowulf learns that the Danes' population is subjected to torment, he decides to travel there to confront Grendel. He is welcomed by King Hrothgar with a feast that is held at night. (Streissguth 14). At the feast, Grendel shows up. However, Beowulf struggles with him and rips off one of his hands, ultimately killing Grendel. The king becomes happy and gives Beowulf many treasures and gifts and even songs are composed to honor him. Grendel’s mother receives the news that his son is dead and sets to go to the Danes kingdom to revenge. She kills Aeschere who is a principal adviser to the king. Grendel's mother then slips back into the swamp water. However, Beowulf follows her by diving into the water and fights Grendel's mother. He kills her using a sword. Later on, Beowulf becomes the ruler of the Geats for fifty years. His reign also realizes massive prosperity and people live in peace. At the age of eighty, a dragon, the most feared monster appears and starts to torment his people by killing them. Beowulf knows that his death is near and resolves to fight the dragon. He kills the dragon, but this comes at a heavy cost. The dragon critically wounds Beowulf, and he succumbs to it. As such, Beowulf depicts to be a celebrated heroic figure of the Danes and Geats, and he would take any action to save his people no matter the outcomes.
Response to Beowulf’s Article
Evidently, Beowulf is the protagonist who is a great warrior in the land of Geats and Danes. The poem depicts him as a legendary leader and an exemplary character with extraordinary strength. His battles display his heroic traits as well as portraying his courage. He makes a critical decision to fight the three monsters and even sacrifices himself to death so that his people could live in peace. Undisputedly, the battle between the dragon and the Beowulf is the most potent symbol that gives Anglo-Saxon poem an atmosphere of hope and death (Neidorf 5). Beowulf remains to be the great hero whose legacy characterizes him as a predominant figure having values of an exceptional warrior. For this reason, Beowulf’s article reveals the protagonist as being a mentor to the Geats worries. The three scenes suggest that a good leader has to sacrifice for his people. Fry also asserts that Beowulf is simply a courageous and strong worrier and king of Geats who stands for what he says despite detrimental consequences like death. Fry mentions that Beowulf signifies a truly daring character who is willing to take risky actions at whatever cost.
The article's strength is seen in the way it glorifies Beowulf's heroic aspect similar to other works of literature. Beowulf is shown to have a strong spirit of adventure, and the article justifies it to be a brilliant and great work of literature from the ancient times. Additionally, the article reflects the culture created and cherished by the Anglo-Saxon society including courage, strength, generosity, and courtesy. In fact, being an artwork, it does serve the purpose of moral instruction, and in today’s world, it demonstrates the values that have to be emulated by people. This is particularly evidenced through characters such as Wiglaf and Beowulf who constantly show honor, friendliness, and bravery. The author also makes the appearance and the extraordinary qualities of Beowulf to stand out. He writes “Never have I seen a mightier noble upon earth, a warrior in armour that is one of you; that is no retainer dignified by weapons, unless his countenance, his peerless form belies him” (Fry 32). Notably, the interpretation of Beowulf does not differ from that of the author. However, the article depicts some weakness including the distant culture with the current world. Arguably, the modern reader feels that there is little in common with the modern world. For example the superhuman nature of the characters evidence. Also, Beowulf is the main character whereas he is first introduced in line 194 where he is termed to me “thane of Hygelac” (Fry 30). He is the protagonist, and thus the author should have identified him earlier in writing owing to the significance he plays in the society. This would have quickly connected Beowulf to the reader.
Nevertheless, the article makes one appreciate and learn more about the old English poetry. This article changes how one views old literature. Certainly, the reader is able to see that the old English was heavily Germanic providing a deeper understanding of the morals that were valued at the time of the story’s creation. Hence, the article reveals and presents the ways of the Danes and the Geats which attest to the traditional ways of the Anglo-Saxon (Streissguth 17). The reader appreciates this literature as an enigmatic masterpiece of poetry that impacts on morals values of loyalty, honor, and sacrifice.
Fry, Donald K. The Beowulf Poet. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, 1968,.
Neidorf, L. "Beowulf Before Beowulf: Anglo-Saxon Anthroponymy And Heroic Legend." The Review Of English Studies, vol 64, no. 266, 2012, pp. 553-573. Oxford University Press (OUP), doi:10.1093/res/hgs108.
Streissguth, Thomas. Understanding Beowulf. San Diego, Calif., Lucent Books, 2004,.