My Perspectives: British and World Literature Grade 12, Volume One-page 44-Answers

Analyze the Text 1

He goes to Herot to defeat Grendel.

Beowulf’s willingness to travel and battle Grendel indicates that he is a brave and honorable man.

Analyze the Text 2

The language used to describe the characters and their actions lead the reader to identify good with Beowulf. He is described as the “mighty protector of men.” Grendel is described as “That shepherd of evil.” When the author describes the end of the battle he clearly designates Beowulf as a representative of God. The text states, “Now he discovered-once the afflictor of men, tormentor of their days-what it meant to feud with Almighty God.”

Analyze the Text 4

There are references to religious beliefs throughout the text. Grendel is described as a “monster born of Cain, murderous creatures banished by God, punished forever for the crime of Abel’s death.” Throughout the story he is compared to evil. Beowulf is portrayed as being blessed by God. The author discusses at length how the people of Herot could not be rid of the evil monster no matter how much they sought to appease the evil. The text states, “Let them beware, those who are thrust into danger, clutched at by trouble, yet can carry no solace in their hearts, cannot hope to be better! Hail to those who will rise to God, drop off their dead bodies and seek our Father’s peace.” Beowulf was able to defeat the beast who bore, “God’s hatred.”

There are several pagan values portrayed within the text. There are a few references to fate. For instance, when Beowulf is gives his speech about laying down his sword and fighting with his hands, he ends it by saying, “Fate will unwind as it must!” Beowulf refers to fate again when he is saying goodbye to his soldiers. He sates, “I mean to stand, not run fro his shooting flames, stand till fate decides which of us wins.” He also displays a thirst for glory and fame This is discussed in the battle with Grendel’s mother. The text states, “Beowulf longed only for fame, leaped back into battle. The quality of loyalty is portrayed when Wiglaf comes to help Beowulf when he battles the dragon.

It interesting to see such a mix of christian and pagan beliefs being portrayed in this story. It makes me wonder if the fact that the story was passed on orally before being recorded is the reason it is written this way. Perhaps the story was added to and changed a little by the storytellers to reflect the storyteller’s beliefs.

Analyze the Text 5

The poem acts as documentation of the values and culture of that time. It depicts characters that are considered evil and and honors the hero that can conquer the evil by being blessed by God.

Analyze the Text 6

A hero is someone that acts for the good of others. This poem shows that the hero can be selfless and brave for others. But it also shows how that hero can become concerned with the fame and potential reward for the act that they engage in. Beowulf seemed to be selfless in his first battle, but then he became concerned with more extrinsic rewards. I think a true heroes acts on instinct with the intent to help others.

Analyze theText 3

Beowulf’s battles are all similar because he goes into battle willingly and he believes he is the only person that can defeat the beasts. He wins each of the three battles. Beowulf is happy to defend the people from the evil of Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. These battles span many years and Beowulf’s engages in battle with the dragon as a much older man. There are several differences in the battle between Beowulf and Grendel and the battle between Beowulf and the dragon.When Beowulf hears about Grendel and his evil ways he is determined to help. His motivation was to save Herot’s people. His soldiers were there to help him. Beowulf went to battle with the dragon for a different reason. He did want to save the people, but he also was looking for fame and the dragon’s treasure. The text states, “Beowulf longed only for fame.” Before the battle begins between Beowulf and the dragon, his character states, “And this dragon’s treasure, his gold and everything hidden in that tower, will be mine.” Once he wins the battle with Wexstan he tells him to build a tower in his name. He states “I sold my life for this treasure, and I sold it well.” Another difference between the battles can be found in the loyalty of his soldiers. His soldiers fought along with him in the first battle, but they did not fight with him in the other battles. Wexstan was the only one to come to Beowulf’s aid in the final battle against the dragon.

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