English Critical Lens HamletBeowolf Essay

Submitted By notroman
Words: 817
Pages: 4

Cicero once said “the greater the difficulty, the greater the glory”. In other words, the harder it is to achieve a certain task or goal, the better the reward or the satisfaction from completing it. One would agree with this statement because in this world and time we live in, things don’t come easy. One must work hard in order to achieve one’s goals and the harder those goals are, the greater the feeling or reward will be when one completes them. Two works of literature that demonstrate this idea is the epic poem “Beowulf” by an unknown author and the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Through the use of characterization and conflict, both works of literature demonstrate the theme of the critical lens.
The epic poem “Beowulf” by an unknown author supports the critical lens by showing how with the greater difficulty each experience he completes, a greater award is presented to him through the use of characterization. The poem is focused on the protagonist, Beowulf, who throughout the poem always challenged himself and fought monsters that were really strong. His first opponent was Grendel who is a demon and Beowulf defeated him. After that he fought Grendel’s mother, a demon even stronger than Grendel. He defeated her as well and after defeating both, received an even greater reward than after just defeating Grendel. Finally Beowulf challenges one more monster. A dragon put up a really good fight. Although Beowulf killed the dragon in the end, he was mortally wounded and died from the injuries he sustained. The literary element that provides evidence of the critical lens is characterization. Beowulf’s character shows us how he was brave and fearless when facing many challenges. He would each time take on stronger enemies such as Grendel’s mother and even the dragon, and getting greater rewards as well as glory for his victories. Beowulf at first attacked a demon ten times his size which was a difficult task on its own but that wasn’t enough so he attacked Grendel’s mother, who is probably much stronger that Grendel. Finally he attacked a huge dragon that was beyond what any man can ever hope to defeat, but he did it in the end and received a lot of glory through the process. Even after he dies, the people of Beowulf’s hometown build an enormous funeral pyre for him heaped with treasures. They honored and admired Beowulf for his actions and because of his character and his determination to receive glory. Ultimately, the epic poem Beowulf shows that the greater the challenge or task, the greater the reward and proves the critical lens true through characterization.
The play Hamlet by William Shakespeare supports the critical lens by showing how the main protagonist, Hamlet, achieves a greater feeling of satisfaction and glory. In the play, Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, kills Hamlet’s Father and takes his place on the throne after marrying Hamlet’s mother within two months. Throughout the play Hamlet cannot decide on whether he should kill Claudius and when the perfect time to do so would be. So after many interesting events, Hamlet kills Claudius as well as