Literary Patterns of European Development Paper
The representation of father-son type relationships in early Medieval literary works is a key theme early authors used to give their works more depth and meaning. Two works that use the theme of father-son relationships are
Beowulf and The Song of Roland. In Beowulf, the relationship between Hrothgar and Beowulf is one in which there is no actual blood father-son tie, but the two characters take on all the characteristics of a real father son relationship.
Hrothgar, although Beowulf's senior, has to rely on this new warrior who comes to Heorot to help him rid his kingdom of a …show more content…
Although Roland is regarded as a great warrior, Charles is seen as the Christian conqueror of the enemies of
Christ. In Charles' case, his old age is to his advantage, and his long white beard and hair are stressed by the author to help paint him as very old. The fight scene between Baligant and Charles further goes to shed light on the experience, leadership and general legend of the old King Charles. So who has the power in a father-son type relationship clearly depends on the individual work itself. Whoever the main and essential character is of the particular work is going to be granted the superior power and prestige.
The strong father-son relationship in Beowulf is a way of stressing how the people of the time felt. The comitatus of the Scandinavian kingdoms of the time Beowulf was written emphasized family and clan above all else, and by having the Hrothgar-Beowulf relationship act out in a certain way, you can get a great sense of what the comitatus system was like. The political and economic ideas of the time are also commented on through this relationship. The gift giving of Hrothgar and Beowulf in turn for deeds done shows what the essence of the comitatus was, how services were rewarded and great deeds applauded. The entire relationship between Hrothgar and Beowulf is the prime example of the comitatus, and the author was clearly trying to stress that when writing Beowulf.
The author of The Song of Roland also clearly had the idea also of