Beowulf Three Battles Essay

Beowulf’s Three Fights

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Throughout the epic poem Beowulf, the hero Beowulf fights three main battles. Each of the fights were great tests of his strength. As the poem progresses and as Beowulf experiences different things, his character changes significantly, as does his reason for fighting. His first fight is against the monster Grendel, who has been terrorizing Hrothgar’s kingdom for a long length of time. He then battles Grendel’s mother, who is seeking revenge on Beowulf for him killing her son.

His final battle is against a dragon, who is seeking revenge on the town for a man stealing from his treasure horde. Each of these battles is fought for an entirely different reason, and each has an enormous impact on his life and character. Beowulf first fights the monster Grendel. Grendel is an outcast from society and becomes angry with the singing and celebrating in Heorot. Grendel kills many of the king’s warriors while they sleep. Beowulf learns of the city’s troubles and chooses to leave his homeland to help.

His primary wants to gain a better reputation by killing the beast and saving the city. While Beowulf and his men are sleeping in Heorot, Grendel enters the hall and eats one of his men. Beowulf rips off one of Grendel’s arms. Grendel then runs to his home to die. Beowulf receives the honor, prestige, and riches he had hoped for. Second, upon winning the fight against Grendel, he must battle Grendel’s mother. Grendel’s mother killed the king’s most trusted warrior in revenge for Grendel’s death.

Beowulf feels as though he must battle Grendel’s mother because it is the honorable thing to do. Unlike when he was battling Grendel, he is unconfident and expects to die in his fight against Grendel’s mother. He is at first unsuccessful, because his normal sword is unable to harm his opponent. He then grabs a sword out of Grendel’s mother’s own armory and beheads her. His motive for fighting is entirely different in this conflict. In his first battle, he wants only prestige honor and riches, but in this battle his goal was to protect the king the land from Grendel’s mother.

Beowulf’s final battle against the dragon is similar to his battle against Grendel’s mother. Beowulf has returned home and eventually becomes king of his own people. He wants to protect the people of his own city, similar to how he wanted to protect the king and his people before. Beowulf has become a kind, humble person instead of the arrogant thrill seeker he was in his first battle. One day, a slave steals a golden cup from a dragon. The dragon, extremely angry, leaves his cave in a fury. Only one of Beowulf’s warriors is brave enough to help him.

The dragon is slayed, but Beowulf dies from the injuries he has sustained. Beowulf fights three main battles that prove him to be a terrific hero. Beowulf fights the first battle strictly for wealth and fame, however he fights the later battles for a different reason. He battles strictly to save the city and its people from harm. He feels as though fighting is his duty and responsibility. His battles against Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon are all fantastic examples of his bravery and honor. Bibliography Raffel, Burton, and Anonymous . Beowulf. Signet Classics, 1999.

Author: Allan Leider

in Beowulf

Beowulf’s Three Fights

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Beowulf Themes Essay

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Themes Essay: Beowulf In the Epic Beowulf there are three specific themes. The themes are “Good vs. Evil”, “Revenge”, and “Personal Honor and Reputation”. These symbols depict the main concepts for Beowulf. Good vs. Evil is demonstrated through the bible reference of God and Cain, and The battle with Grendel. Revenge is portrayed throughout the poem from Grendel to his own mother. Personal Honor and Reputation is shown mainly through Beowulf. Putting these three themes together gives the reader the main idea and concept of the Epic Poem Beowulf.

Good vs. Evil is the main theme a reader will interpret in Beowulf. It is first recognized by the allusion from the bible the reference of God vs. Cain. “He (Grendel) was spawned in that slime,/ Of Cain, murderous creatures banished / By God, punished forever for the crime/ Of Abel’s death. ” (Littel, McDougal 40). God is of high power and alone God he is known as the Good in all. While Cain who had killed his own brother committed a crime and God punishes him. Cain is evil. In addition, Beowulf vs. Grendel is also Good vs. Evil.

In The Battle with Grendel Beowulf before had already told Hrothgar he would fight for him and kill Grendel. During battle it was not easy at first to harm Grendel “trying to open/ A path for his evil soul, but their points/ Could not hurt him,” (Little, McDougal 48). His evil “bewitched” mortal weapons. Until Beowulf came in and fought “The battle was over, Beowulf/ Had been granted new glory:” (Little, McDougal 49). Beowulf had earned victory and the good conquers the evil. Revenge is depicted by the evil characters in the poem, Grendel and his mother.

Grendel is introduced in the beginning “A powerful monster, living down/ In the darkness, growled in pain, impatient” (Little, McDougal 38). The description foreshadows Grendel’s actions. It states the monster is impatient regarding he can’t wait and is vengeful. After the battle with Grendel the story introduces Grendel’s mother. Grendel’s mother shows a parental instinct, “Grendel’s mother emerges, bent on revenge” (Little, McDougal 51) Beowulf killed Grendel and now Grendel’s mother seeks to avenge her son.

Revenge can easily kill a person. Personal Honor and reputation is mainly described with Beowulf, but also Wiglaf shows some part in honor. Beowulf goes to Herot and tells Hrothgar about his reputation “That I, alone and with the help of my men. ” (Little, McDougal 44) shows his honor of himself and his own men. In Beowulf’s Last Battle he his old and yet still fights for his own sake. Fighting with the dragon Bewoulf gets wounded and his men run away but one man Wiglaf. “As a good man must, what kinship should mean. His name was Wiglaf,/”(Little, McDougal 60-61) Wiglaf helps Beowulf defeat the dragon. He gives a long speech to the Geats with kind words. Honor comes with various aspects but mostly responsibility. The themes are shown in a number of ways. Good vs. Evil, Revenge, and Personal Honor and Reputation are all parts to making what is Beowulf. Good vs. Evil: Beowulf vs. Grendel, Revenge: Grendel and his mother, Personal Honor and Reputation: Beowulf and Wiglaf. The themes are important aspects to give the concept of Beowulf.

Author: Allan Leider

in Beowulf

Beowulf Themes Essay

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