However, the respective careers of Heremod and Modthryth run exactly opposite courses. As we have found in this essay, there are merely too quite a few instances of foreshadowing, cautious distinction, and parallelism for the digressions to have been carelessly thrown into the mix. Then Beowulf tried to defeat a dragon but he failed and died in this try. When Beowulf pits his strength against the giants, he is unwittingly allying himself with the true God of Christianity. First, both Scyld and Beowulf came miraculously to liberate the Danes. Scyld was found a wretched and abandoned child and Beowulf is conspicuous for his inglorious youth.
Anderson sums up the significance of the digressions when he writes: The poet drew his settings from the scenic repertory of the older heroic lay, but he strung the traditional scenes together with a moralizing commentary in the form of digressions, flashbacks, boasts, reflective speeches, and a persistent emphasis on unexpected reversals-all tending to underscore the peaks and valleys of human experience. After Beowulf has killed Grendel, a scop improvises a lay in honor of Beowulf and compares him to Sigemund and Heremod. I think his name was Charlie. Beowulf also kills Grendel's mother in the story who was hard to defeat … than Grendel but he managed to get his sword and he slashed her neck. The inglorious youth enhances the effect of his later glorious deeds and makes them all the more remarkable in contrast. The story of the Danish succession serves as a foil: on the one side we have a treacherous usurpation, and on the other, a refusal to accept the crown out of sheer loyalty.
Here, William Alfred remarks that Hrothgar is set up as the heroic king of a loyal comitatus, but suddenly, what begins as a description of the impressive halls of Heorot breaks down into an account of its destruction by fire in a feud. It is ironic that the first intimation of Hygelac's case was recalled by the description of the treasures given to Beowulf by Queen Wealtheow after Beowulf's victory over Grendel. The author didn 't leave a signature, or a date stamp at the very least of it. The Finn episode is an account of a blood-feud between the Danes and the Frisians. The rare note of joy in the beauty of nature contrasts deeply with the melancholy inspired by the dreary abode of Grendel.
The Frisians randomly decide to attack the Danes and many warriors as well as the king, is killed. Even though Beowulf gains all the treasures of the dragon hoard, his people suffer a greater loss from his death. First, both Scyld and Beowulf miraculously came to free the Danes. Would not it be necessary for a heroic person to stand up for the common good? Nonetheless, the respective occupations of Heremod and Modthryth run specifically reverse courses. But the only surviving manuscript of Beowulf was written in the 11th century by Christian scribes, who either inserted the Christian overtones to the story, or were working from a manuscript set down by previous Christians who added the Christian elements. Heroes the likes of Beowulf and Wiglaf stand proudly among other figures from history such as Hygelac, Hrothgar, and Ingeld. Kent Hieatt says of the poem Beowulf: The ethical life of the poem, then, depends upon the propositions that evil.
As we will see later, if the Danes had not been glorified at the beginning of the poem, the greatness of Beowulf may have been diminished. Tell us of these things, beginning where you will, Goddess, Daughter of Zeus. Scyld opens the poem because he is used as a foreshadowing figure to show what will happen to Beowulf in the future. He is also … a thane lord in the hall of the Geats'ring-giver king. When a person dies the only thing that they are remembered by is their accomplishments, Beowulf fiercely wanted to be like Scyld because when he died everyone remembered all of the great things that he did for his people.
At this point, new Scripture and old tradition unite. The ultimate group in which to make note is the digressions of Biblical character. Because of its Christian element, the creation song as well as the allusion to the war of the gods against God and the allusions to Cain occupy a place in the front row. Whilst some scholars have created tries to present that the digressions, or some of them at least, have a thing in them which is inappropriate to the primary narrative and are detrimental to the poetic price of Beowulf, this essay will argue that the digressions and episodes provide a mindful balance and unity and, in point, contribute to the inventive value of the poem. The Song of Creation goes back to the biblical account in Genesis. The Scyld episode allows the poet the use of two of his favorite devices: parallelism and contrast. Examining whether a character meets expectations and criteria prove important when establishing an ideal hero in an epic poem.
Would it not require a heroic individual to achieve for the common good? Multiply digressions throughout the poem warn against the evil affects power and greed can have on once honorable men. Number of other functions are far more attribute of Beowulf than the use of a lot of digressions and distinctive episodes. Before we inspect specific digressions, it is important to provide a brief justification for their presence in general. This digression serves a twofold purpose: it allows the hero his convention of boasting, and he also unites, albeit subtly, the hero with God. The third category of digressions concerns historical or legendary digressions that are not directly related to Beowulf and the Geats. Digressions of Beowulf There are numerous digressions in Beowulf that are confusing to first-time readers of the poem. Bonjour concludes that Beowulf, once in the position of a king actually transcends the picure of an ideal king by sacrificing his life for his people, the significance of which is stressed by the very contrast with Hrothgar's own attitude towards Grendel.
The allusion is to the feud between Ingeld and Hrothgar. Bonjour states that the visual appearance of wyrd below is of fantastic great importance as it gives us the keynote of not only the digression, but of the full ending of the poem. It is almost as if Grendel and his mother are the wickedness that will take over the Danes and the Dragon is the tragedy for the Geats. After Beowulf has killed Grendel, a scop improvises a layman in honor of Beowulf and compares him to Sigemund and Heremod. Ogilvy and Baker suggest that unlike Wealtheow, who is obsessed with securing the succession of her sons to the throne, Hygd asks Beowulf to take the throne in favor of her own son for the good of the people.
In his old age a wyrm dragon starts to terrorize Geatland, so Beowulf goes off to killit. Beating at my sword blade, would be helpless. It is a story of 3 agons or struggles. It is within this structure where we will explore specific digressions and determine their role in the poem. The second function of this digression is to surreptitiously ally Beowulf with God.
It is believed that someone wrote the oral poem, making it into a written a story. In Hrothgar's speech to Beowulf we learn that Heremod was a strong, brave hero whose career was promising, but later proved to be a bad ruler. Digressions seem sometimes to be secondary narratives competing with the main story line Tripp 63 , but in this case the digression seems at the outset to support or complement the main narrative. When Beowulf pits his strength in opposition to the giants, he is unwittingly allying himself with the genuine God of Christianity. Here, the Geats form a striking contrast to the Danes. This contrast is even greater in comparison to the situation at the Danish court where Hrothulf occupies the throne of his uncle. The striking reversal in their fortunes is clearly stressed by the poet.