Mr. Athletic Man Essay

Submitted By soccerman1019
Words: 824
Pages: 4

The praised epic poem, “Beowulf”, is one of the first great heroic poem’s in English literature. The epic follows a courageous warrior named Beowulf throughout his young, adult life and into his old age. As a young man, Beowulf becomes a legendary hero when he saves the land of the Danes from the hellish creatures, Grendel and his mother. Later, after fifty years pass, Beowulf is an old man and a great king of the Geats. A monstrous dragon soon invades his peaceful kingdom and he defends his people courageously, dying in the process. “Beowulf” is a clear example of a Pagan epic as a result of several accounts of supernatural elements, fate, and boasting. In this epic, Beowulf is abound in supernatural elements of pagan associations. From “magic veins” (10. 530) to magic powers, Beowulf’s life is surrounded with the supernatural. The most evident of supernatural pagan associations in “Beowulf” is Grendel; “He slipped through the door and there in the silence / Snatched up thirty men, smashed them / Unknowing in their beds, and ran out with their bodies” (2. 36-38). Apart from Grendel, the only other character that displays supernatural powers is Beowulf. Beowulf was a man of admirable exploits. He had the strength of thirty men in his arms, and would use this strength when it was needed. The fact that Beowulf is able to kill Grendel, “In the darkness, the horrible shrieks of pain / And defeat, the tears torn out of Grendel’s / Taut through, hell’s captive caught in the arms / Of him who of all the men on earth / Was the strongest” (8. 468-473), and submerge himself underwater for hours, “Answer; the heaving water covered him / Over. For hours he sank through the waves;” (12. 572-573), is source of supernatural abilities. The twist of fate for Beowulf also seems to be an ongoing theme in this epic. The concept of fate is primarily a Pagan belief, and the authors’ of this epic seemed to have been moved by the concept of fate and how it affects the twists and turns of a person’s life. Throughout this epic, the characters are haunted by fate and acknowledge its strong presence in everything they do. For example, when Beowulf is fighting a monster he says “Tight in my flesh. But fate let me / Find its heart with my sword, hack myself / Free; I fought that beast’s last battle, / Left it floating lifeless in the sea” (6. 288-291). Fate seems to lurk in the shadows of these characters very being and it is this force in which they acknowledge their mortality as human beings.
Cliff-walls at the edge of the coast. Fate saves
The living when they drive away death by themselves! (7. 305-306) Boasting, although not very evident throughout the epic, is a recurring theme. Any chance that Beowulf gets, he presents his credentials, according to Christian beliefs. However, from a Pagan standpoint the presenting of credentials can be seen as boasting. This is very evident in Beowulf’s first speech to King Hrothgar, My people have said, the wisest, most knowing And best of them, that my duty was to go to the…