An analysis of the concept of symbolism in anglo saxon epic beowulf

Grendel's mother also sees it as a symbol, representing her personal loss and mankind's macabre sense of what might be an appropriate trophy.

Beowulf as an anglo saxon epic

Beowulf relies heavily on using characters to express itself as cultural value and symbolism to show the significant concept of the poem; this is done through using creativity, resilience, bravery and perseverance. While Beowulf just battle his natural human predisposition and the vices of pride, greed, anger, cowardice, betrayal, and self-concern, he also must battle vicious and merciless supernatural creatures. He also challenges the legitimacy of Beowulf and loses. The mead-hall is both symbolism and a setting in the epic. Grendel's nature is equivalent to that of Satan, thus his death symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. He boasts to Hrothgar of his bravery, but does so mainly as a practical means of getting what he wants. The story of the Dragonslayer is that of a Hero, who starts off insignificant, but after his journey, is strong enough to face and defeat the evil Dragon. All are mentioned, probably because the poet borrowed from various influences in creating the poem. In the background, a rising full moon and silhouetted gothic castle keenly set an atmosphere of dread and foreboding. Further reading. The author is likewise unknown, and represents a question that has mystified readers for centuries.

The monster Grendel is an extreme example of evil and corruption, possessing no human feelings except hatred and bitterness toward mankind. The poem also makes clear our need for a code of ethics, which allows members of society to relate to one another with understanding and trust.

He seems to have no great desire to become king of the Geats and, when first offered the throne, he refuses, preferring to play the role of warrior-son.

Anglo saxon culture in beowulf essay

Lastly, the Dragon embodies all the values that an Anglo-Saxon king should not dare retain. In the first part, we see Beowulf as the young, daring prince, in contrast with Hrothgar, the wise but aging king. Thankfully, Beowulf is no coward. Beowulf relies heavily on using characters to express itself as cultural value and symbolism to show the significant concept of the poem; this is done through using creativity, resilience, bravery and perseverance. Only one survivor, who is called the "keeper of the rings" , lived to hide the treasures in the barrow. This ingrained fear for survival gave way to a shared interest in the gritty darkness beneath every sound reality. Wiglaf sends a messenger to a nearby encampment of Geat soldiers with instructions to report the outcome of the battle. In Beowulf, some of the most important symbols are Hrothgar's mead-hall, Grendel's cave, Grendel's arm and head, and the dragon's treasure-trove. Further reading. His leadership skills are outstanding and he is even able to boast about all his achievements. Hrothgar rewards Beowulf with a great store of treasures and, after another banquet, the warriors of both the Geats and the Danes retire for the night.

That lends special meaning to his victories and to Beowulf's eventual liberation of the hall from the ravages of the ogres. Both are great kings, wise and noble, but what truly makes a king great?

symbolism in beowulf essay

The cave also represents their heritage. He is hero of the Geats who defeats Grendel and his Ogress mother.

the golden torque beowulf

Beowulf offers a glimpse of a society struggling between two different paths, one path being the assimilation into the new Christian traditions and the other is the fast fading past of glorified warriors and family ties. He describes the proposed peace settlement, in which Hrothgar will give his daughter Freaw to Ingeld, king of the Hathobards, but predicts that the peace will not last long.

What does beowulf symbolize

This classic poem explicitly illustrates an ideal Anglo Saxon hero of possessing the characteristics that many people during that time regarded highly. The definition of a messianic narrative containing the ultimate messianic figure is found in Isaiah 53, a prophecy spoken by God through the Hebrew prophet Isaiah. He lives by honor and glory and desires power in anyone thing he accomplishes. In the epic poem Beowulf, the author utilizes characterization of women, and symbolism of Heorot Hall, and depictions of brotherly love to show that loyalty is needed to keeping harmony within a society that is under con The dragon marks the third and final test of Beowulf. Unferth operates as a counter to Beowulf. Often a symbol is emblematic of the values of the characters. The final battle which completes the epic cycle of the hero from his early rise, his time of triumph and rule, to his final fall and death. Clearly, it is easy to list off the heroes in these ancient poems. Beowulf's battles symbolize the youth, adulthood, and maturity of Beowulf's life. The pattern of loyal dependency is basic to Anglo-Saxon life. Beowulf goes to the Danish King, Hrothgar, and asks for permission to fight the monster and finally relieve the Danes, commencing the torture that they have endured for years. Throughout Beowulf symbolism is used both to reinforce the importance of religion and to impress the values of the Anglo Saxons upon the reader. He represents the young warrior who helps the aging King Beowulf in his battle against the dragon in the second part of the poem, in much the same way as the younger Beowulf helped King Hrothgar in the first part.

Her only human quality is the desire to avenge the death of her son. As with all epic poems, the time of the poem exists in an epic past.

what does grendels mother symbolize

In the first part, we see Beowulf as the young, daring prince, in contrast with Hrothgar, the wise but aging king. A code is something to live by, often an unwritten pledge and standard to live by as one resides or partakes in a team with unity.

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Essay on Symbolism in Beowulf